Recently, Mr. David McCullough Jr., an English teacher at the Wellesley High School in Massachusetts gave his unusual commencement speech to the class of 2012. He told his graduating students that they are not special, now that’s something to say to graduating students when the world is before them and they felt that they have all the privileges to have a good life!
But what exactly high school prepare us for? Or should prepare us for?
In my grandparents’ generation, education is reserved for the privileged few (it is still the case for some, unfortunately). If you had an education:
- You are expected to be upright, knowing right from wrong
- You are expected to have wisdom, transcending understanding and take the high road
- You are expected to be selfless and do great things for others, for you know better than most
- You are expected to be forward thinking and looking, for you thirst for knowledge and new things
That’s what high school prepare our grandparents’ generation for. In the current generation, education doesn’t seem to be doing this anymore. The commencement speech seemed to be talking about values of old which we have forgotten in this time and age, as we are more and more inward looking and selfish, instead of outward looking and selfless like our forefathers. Isn’t strange? When times are difficult people should be looking out for themselves, yet they are more selfless. When times are good people should be looking out for others, yet they more selfish!
When we leave school, all values we learned we threw them out the door in favour to climb the corporate ladder as fast as possible to the top, regardless of how you do it, you just do it! It’s always about “me”, it is always about “I want”, why? Because there is only one me and I’m special! Well, according to Mr. McCollough, when everyone is special, then no one is truly special.
So, instead of being special, try being fulfilled! Live a life of love, live a life of true importance and meaning, live a life of freewill and choose to be honorable. Live life as you live only once, not once in a lifetime! So make every moment counts, not just count those special moments.