Those Inspirational Speeches…

Today’s post is dedicated to three phenomenal authors and three speeches they gave in front of students. A speech can be boring and full of expected sentences. This three examples are the complete opposite. They changed something inside me – because they told the truth. And that in a way that makes you listen to them…

The most inspirational speech I ever heard regarding the field of Art: Neil Caiman’s commencement speech at the University of the Arts Class of 2012:

“The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you’re getting away with something and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.” … “I hope, you make mistakes. If you do mistakes it means, you’re out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be very useful.

Author Jonathan Safran Foer talks at the 2011 Dukes Summer Reading Program about his book Eating Animals and his own position regarding the consumption of meat (He starts the speech at minute five, after being introduced). I’m a vegetarian myself, but not because I ever decided it. I just don’t like the taste of meat. Thus, I thought that his book would be too drastic and radical for me. I changed my opinion immediately after I listened to this speech. 

“If you say to somebody, ‘Do you think meat is murder?’, you’re gonna get nowhere.”

This is Water is the commencement speech that David Foster Wallace gave in 2005 at the graduates of Kenyon College. The sad aspect of this speech is that its talented presenter killed himself in 2008. By now, the speech has been published  in printed form – even in German. David Foster Wallace makes us all remember that we are NOT the centre of the universe and we should ask more often the obvious questions:

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’ ” {…} “But if you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise, older fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.”

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links.

4 thoughts on “Those Inspirational Speeches…”

    1. I heard a lot about this speech (and the book that’s based on it) in the past, but actually never watched it. I did this now and I have to admid that it really rules and is inspiring at its best! Thanks Conny, for recommending it to me again!

Leave a Reply