Commencements as a kick-off

At the start of each summer, I scour YouTube for commencement speeches during long drives. I find inspiration, the drive isn’t as tedious and when my children are with me in the car, they take in pieces to, hopefully, better their lives. This summer was no exception in my scouring effort and I’d like to share a few of my favorites, so you, too, will hopefully find pieces of inspiration to better your life.

Oprah Winfrey delivers commencement address at Spellmen College 2012

Oprah shares her message in the same enthusiastic manner that became a trademark of her talk show. She describes the difficult path that has led to the celebration of African American women graduating from college. She encourages these brilliant women to know who they are really, to have a vision of where they want to go, to serve in significance, to do the right thing so the right things are done in return and to surround yourself with “people who are going to fill your cup until your cup runneth over”. The piece that really spoke to me was

Don’t give your gallon-sized offerings to pint-sized people. They can’t handle it anyway.

General Colin Powell delivers commencement address at Northeastern University 2012 

General Powell is actually quite funny and shares his life in humbling details. He also shares a touching story about his wife. The address isn’t without political views, but his view is one that everyone in this country should hear and let sink in.

Brian Williams delivers commencement address at George Washington University 2012 

This is certainly an event I would have loved to have heard in person. Brian Williams has that unforgettable voice and delivery pattern. You will laugh, you will be surprised (he shares how he’s become one of the top nightly news reporters) and you will be motivated as an American to do more and to make a real difference in this world.

David McCullough delivers commencement address at Wellesley High School 2012 

Watch this one from start to finish. His message is simple, yet profound: None of you are special.

Take these messages, as we have, to make a real difference in the world while remembering what it has taken to be where you are today. Use these commencements as a kick-off, a start, to better your life.

 

 

 

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