You’re Not Special Commencement Speech

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Had I given the same speech that teacher David McCullough, Jr. gave recently to students at Wellesly High School I’m sure I would have been met with hisses and boos but it would have been worth the outcry. Instead, I delivered some lame speech about friendship, courage, responsibility and doing one’s best.

What David McCullough, Jr. did was grab their attention so that he could make a point later in his speech about what he hoped that the students in the 2012 graduating class of Wellesly High School would hold onto.

Here’s an excerpt of his speech,

No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism.  Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue.  Normally, I avoid clichés like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field.  That matters.  That says something.  And your ceremonial costume… shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all.  Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same.  And your diploma… but for your name, exactly the same.

            All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.

            You are not special.  You are not exceptional.

This is how you deliver a speech. Read the entire story here.

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