Blog Master G

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Samuel L. Jackson

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004 · 1 Comment

A selection from Vassar’s 140th Commencement Address by Samuel L. Jackson:

    Robert Kennedy never lived to see apartheid fall, but he believed that it was possible. People around the world stood up and joined forces and justice triumphed. The defenders of the status quo would prefer that we not be let in on the secret: people can, and they do, change the world.

    I would like to ask each of you to do me one personal favor. Okay, two. First, don’t wear the Kangol hat backwards — that’s my thing, and very few folks pull it off as well as I do. But more importantly, give me bragging rights. Do something great. Sometime in the future I want to hear about some incredible thing you’ve done and be able to say, man, I spoke at her — or his — graduation.

    In return, I want to offer you a few pieces of advice: try to keep it real. Stay true to what’s best in yourself and to the best of what you’ve experienced here at Vassar. Continue to expose yourself to new ideas. Trust your instincts and think for yourself. Make art, or at least value it. Look for the core of what makes each person human, appreciate the details that make them unique.

    Find something that moves you or pisses you off, and do something about it. Put your self out there. Be brave. Be bold. Take action. You have a voice. Speak up, especially when something tries to keep you silent. Take a stand for what’s right. Raise a ruckus and make a change. You may not always be popular, but you’ll be part of something larger and bigger and greater that yourself. Besides, making history is extremely cool.

Words to live by, indeed.

Tags: vassar

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 glenn // May 27, 2004 at 2:03 pm

    from SF Chronicle:
    Washington — Attorney General John Ashcroft’s solemn announcement that al Qaeda planned to attack America in the next few months seemed to provoke as much skepticism as fear Wednesday, raising doubts as to whether any terror warnings will be taken seriously in the heat of an election campaign.

    “I find it at a minimum very suspicious that we are now going to be listening to a new, heightened awareness … of terrorists, conveniently timed to when we see the president’s approval ratings plummet,” Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said during a conference call with reporters arranged by the campaign of Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.