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Thread: You Are Not Special

  1. #1
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    You Are Not Special

    This SO needs to be replayed every year at every graduation for all of eternity.






    "The Universe has no center, therefore you can not be it"
    "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- (Thomas Jefferson)
    “Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you.” -- (Benjamin Franklin)

  2. #2
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    I heard a short clip of this on the radio. Thanks for the whole speech. Nice dose of reality!
    (old Gaelic saying) Chan eil h-uile facal sireadh freagairt. Not every question requires an answer.

  3. #3
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    Good speech. Worth 12 minutes.

  4. #4
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    It's an important message and needs lots of repeating to have any impact on our current society of over-indulgent parents and youth with a resultant sense of entitlement.
    "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." C. S. Lewis



  5. #5
    Brilliant.
    "The distinctive mark of the Christian, today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering." Pope John Paul II


  6. #6
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    I have a 20 spot that says at least 10 parents called and complained to the school district because the speaker at graduation told their child he/she is not special.
    Nebraska fans, this is called someone in your conference having your back…welcome to the Big Ten. - HawkeyeNation

  7. #7
    Kind of insulting to the kids and parents in the audience, eh? There are people who work crazy hard to graduate from high school. There are parents who work super hard to give their kids advantages and opportunities.

    In my opinion, this guy tried to make graduation about himself and his pithy phrases, and not really about the students. The absolute height of irony, given his message.

    This guy needs to work harder. Here's hoping he used his 3 month summer vacation to hone his message a little. Aim high, buddy. Aim high.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerator 5000 View Post
    Kind of insulting to the kids and parents in the audience, eh? There are people who work crazy hard to graduate from high school. There are parents who work super hard to give their kids advantages and opportunities.

    In my opinion, this guy tried to make graduation about himself and his pithy phrases, and not really about the students. The absolute height of irony, given his message.

    This guy needs to work harder. Here's hoping he used his 3 month summer vacation to hone his message a little. Aim high, buddy. Aim high.
    Your missing the point.


    Born a Nebraskan, raised a Nebraskan, will die a Nebraskan!! Go Big Red!



    Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” - Gamalie the Pharisee - Addressing the Sanhedrin regarding the new group called Christians
    "I support collecting more in taxes from people with high incomes who choose to actually pay taxes at lower tax rates than use lawyers and accountants to avoid taxes at higher tax rates," he wrote. "Some tax revenues at low tax rates is a heckuva lot better than no tax revenues at high tax rates." - Art Laffer (on 999 plan)


  9. #9
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    Message is very similar to part of a George Carlin routine about every kid being special... Although Carlin made his point with more f-bombs.


    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. - Robert A. Heinlein

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerator 5000 View Post
    Kind of insulting to the kids and parents in the audience, eh? There are people who work crazy hard to graduate from high school. There are parents who work super hard to give their kids advantages and opportunities.

    In my opinion, this guy tried to make graduation about himself and his pithy phrases, and not really about the students. The absolute height of irony, given his message.

    This guy needs to work harder. Here's hoping he used his 3 month summer vacation to hone his message a little. Aim high, buddy. Aim high.


    Quote Originally Posted by jikastew View Post
    I have a 20 spot that says at least 10 parents called and complained to the school district because the speaker at graduation told their child he/she is not special.

    Sadly, Jikastew, I believe you are probably way low on that "10". Case in point: Huskerator5000

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bilsker View Post
    Sadly, Jikastew, I believe you are probably way low on that "10". Case in point: Huskerator5000
    Right, I definitely called the school district about my kid not being special.

    No, I just pointed out the irony in this guy's bitter and self-indulgent soapbox lecture which did not contain the proper measure of respect for graduation. If this guy thinks graduating from high school is worthy of no praise, it's his fault a heck of a lot more than it is the fault of "mommy" who "ordered from the caterer." Make it more rigorous if you've got a problem with it.

    For the love of Pete he starts out with totally off-topic amateur stand-up about marriage that would barely keep him on stage at open mic night. Why should these kids try hard now, as he enjoins? So a showboat from the peanut gallery who has stumbled into a position of prominence gets to tell them again what a bunch of dweebs they still are? I don't get it.

  12. #12
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    Awesome speech!
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." Ayn Rand

    "Hillary has been cheated on more than a blind woman playing Scrabble. With gypsies." Dennis Miller

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerator 5000 View Post
    Right, I definitely called the school district about my kid not being special.

    No, I just pointed out the irony in this guy's bitter and self-indulgent soapbox lecture which did not contain the proper measure of respect for graduation. If this guy thinks graduating from high school is worthy of no praise, it's his fault a heck of a lot more than it is the fault of "mommy" who "ordered from the caterer." Make it more rigorous if you've got a problem with it.

    For the love of Pete he starts out with totally off-topic amateur stand-up about marriage that would barely keep him on stage at open mic night. Why should these kids try hard now, as he enjoins? So a showboat from the peanut gallery who has stumbled into a position of prominence gets to tell them again what a bunch of dweebs they still are? I don't get it.
    That which you call "bitter and self-indulgent" others would find realistic and worldly; especially in light of the general message.
    Nebraska fans, this is called someone in your conference having your back…welcome to the Big Ten. - HawkeyeNation

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by huskerator 5000 View Post
    Right, I definitely called the school district about my kid not being special.

    No, I just pointed out the irony in this guy's bitter and self-indulgent soapbox lecture which did not contain the proper measure of respect for graduation. If this guy thinks graduating from high school is worthy of no praise, it's his fault a heck of a lot more than it is the fault of "mommy" who "ordered from the caterer." Make it more rigorous if you've got a problem with it.

    For the love of Pete he starts out with totally off-topic amateur stand-up about marriage that would barely keep him on stage at open mic night. Why should these kids try hard now, as he enjoins? So a showboat from the peanut gallery who has stumbled into a position of prominence gets to tell them again what a bunch of dweebs they still are? I don't get it.
    Did you listen to the whole thing? I could see how the first couple of minutes could turn you off, but the overall message was spot on. His audience was a bunch of wealthy kids who had been pressured from day one to do everything in their life geared toward improving their resume. He was giving them a very worthwhile message: there is more to life than achievements chalked up for the sake of burnishing college eligibility. Do things because you love to do them, and not for the sake of racking up accomplishments. It was a very worthwhile message, and it was well tailored to his audience. His reference to Dead Poets Society was no coincidence; his message was almost identical to that of Robin Williams' character.
    "The distinctive mark of the Christian, today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering." Pope John Paul II


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChitownHusker View Post
    Did you listen to the whole thing? I could see how the first couple of minutes could turn you off, but the overall message was spot on. His audience was a bunch of wealthy kids who had been pressured from day one to do everything in their life geared toward improving their resume. He was giving them a very worthwhile message: there is more to life than achievements chalked up for the sake of burnishing college eligibility. Do things because you love to do them, and not for the sake of racking up accomplishments. It was a very worthwhile message, and it was well tailored to his audience. His reference to Dead Poets Society was no coincidence; his message was almost identical to that of Robin Williams' character.
    Assuming this is a good summary of the speech--and I do because I trust the poster and don't feel like watching a graduation speech, yes, I'm lazy and commenting on something I'm not watching--sounds like a good message given the particular audience. I happen to live at Ground Zero of "everybody is awesome!" schooling, which is to say about 3 miles from Columbine High School. That forever damaged institution has its very valid reasons for a decade or more of touchy-feely high school education policy and I don't fault them one bit. I also think that everyone does have the potential to be great, special, world-altering, much as everyone has the potential to be mediocre, average, and inconsequential. Both paths and all points in between can lead to fulfilling lives, which given our limited time on this planet is all that really matters. Again, depending on the audience, one version of this message or another is highly appropriate. This reminds me of an interview with one of my favorite filmmakers, Joss Whedon, wherein the last two questions and answers were as follows:

    Q: Tell me a lie.
    A: You are important.
    Q: Tell me a secret.
    A: You are important.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ChitownHusker View Post
    Did you listen to the whole thing? I could see how the first couple of minutes could turn you off, but the overall message was spot on. His audience was a bunch of wealthy kids who had been pressured from day one to do everything in their life geared toward improving their resume. He was giving them a very worthwhile message: there is more to life than achievements chalked up for the sake of burnishing college eligibility. Do things because you love to do them, and not for the sake of racking up accomplishments. It was a very worthwhile message, and it was well tailored to his audience. His reference to Dead Poets Society was no coincidence; his message was almost identical to that of Robin Williams' character.
    "Tear them up, boys! Tear them up."

    I did listen to the whole thing, including his weak "congratulations" through almost gritted teeth at the end. Overall it was a very hackneyed message to me, yeah OBVIOUSLY you shouldn't live your life to improve your resume. If they waited until graduation to spring this simple truth on their students, well that is an education failure so massive that, indeed, it might be better if these students do feel like low-down losers because if they are self-assured enough to unleash on the world the garbage that school apparently taught them with the full weight of their families' resources behind it, we will all suffer.

    The bottom line to me is, I don't care how much money these kids have. There's all kinds of kids even in that audience who battled addiction, abusive parents, depression, feelings of inadequacy, eating disorders, learning disabilities, and Lord knows what else to make it to that stage. High school graduation is not nothing. Can we let people feel special for one afternoon?

    When you give a speech like this, you're not talking to just the one spoiled brat you want to zing. You're talking to everyone. That's especially true if you're going to broadcast yourself on the Web. So, be careful. Maybe read the textbook through once or twice to make sure before you ask the kids to tear them up.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThotDoc View Post
    It's an important message and needs lots of repeating to have any impact on our current society of over-indulgent parents and youth with a resultant sense of entitlement.
    Amen to that brother.
    I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man that had no feet.

  18. #18
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    "Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you." Sums up the speech pretty well and it's good advice no matter which high school you graduated from, including Columbine.

  19. #19
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    Great speech. Very much needed today.
    As government gets bigger people get smaller

  20. #20
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    So, the question is how many Tweets/Facebook updates went out from that graduation ceremony about this very speech?

    Irony, meet thy creator.
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