I love a good commencement speech. To me, the best ones combine humor with heart and aspirations with advice for living a good life.
I’ve shared many that I’ve loved on this blog, and this weekend I came across another great one that not only met my criteria but reminded me that parents who may seem very different often want the exact same things for their very well-loved children.
The speech is by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts at the ninth-grade commencement for the Cardigan Mountain School. He delivered it to his son and his classmates. I’ve tried to stay apolitical on this blog, and Roberts makes no references to politics, the Supreme Court, or the law in his address. He does, however, touch on universal parental hopes that their children become good, grateful individuals when they are grown, and he does so in a lovely way.
I was struck by the way that he turns the usual good wishes into hopes for the smallest yet necessary bits of misfortune.
“I wish you bad luck … so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved, either,” he says.
Also, I love the Bob Dylan lyrics he shared. Those have a special place in my heart, as I shared here.
The Washington Post said of the speech in a headline that “[t]he best thing Chief Justice Roberts wrote this term wasn’t a Supreme Court opinion.” I have to agree, and hope you do, too.
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Filed under: Parenting