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Here’s your commencement address

I love that, when you graduate from University, you get the Commencement Speech. As if it’s only now, at that moment, that you get to start something. Not before. Not after.

Here’s one of the best commencement speeches I’ve read, just as good than the Steve Jobs’ one that got so much press some years ago.

It’s from Paul Hawken, author and founder of Wiser Earth. My favourite lines?

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data.
But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.
What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.
The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.”
There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

How about today you think:

What will I commence?

What needs to begin?

What’s the Great Work I’m going to say Yes to?

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