Saturday, June 28, 2008

On J.K. Rowling's Commencement Address at Harvard

J.K. Rowling was given an honary doctorate by Harvard. Often these are given for secondary services (such as to big donors or to political hacks that need pedigree authority), but in her case I can see the legitimacy: She's had the life experience and demonstrated success to have deserved such a title post-facto. Here is a selection of her commencement speech which evidences her wisdom:
I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticise my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.
The rest is equally satisfying.


[image/quote] "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination: Harvard University Commencement Address" The Harvard University Gazette. June 5, 2008 (Accessed June 28, 2008)

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