This is Water

by Vicki on October 25, 2013

Every once in a while I come across some tidbit online that I really connect with – a photo, a video, a posting.

It might connect the dots for me, help me understand my view of the world or really make me feel something (good or bad).

Yesterday morning, I followed a link to a video on Upworthy, a website whose mission it is to –

….find things on the Internet that have real meaning — things that take you out of the tempting narrow focus of your own existence and give you some perspective about your neighborhood, your community, and your world.

This speech, delivered at Kenyon College way back in 2005, encapsulates that vision perfectly.

I really hope you take the time to watch the video. I think the message contained within can really shape the way we move through the world and interact with the people in it.

This history of the speech according to Wikipedia:

This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life is an essay by David Foster Wallace, first published in book form by Little, Brown and Company in 2009. The text originates from a commencement speech given by Wallace at Kenyon College on May 21, 2005. Before Little, Brown’s publication, a transcript of the speech circulated around the Internet. The essay was also published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006.

This essay covers subjects including “the difficulty of empathy,” “the importance of being well adjusted,” and “the essential lonesomeness of adult life.” Additionally, Wallace’s speech suggests that the overall purpose of higher education is to be able to consciously choose how to perceive others, think about meaning, and act appropriately in everyday life. He argues that the true freedom acquired through education is the ability to be adjusted, conscious, and sympathetic.

The speech is powerful. It spans so many facets of the things our blog often touches on – education, social psychology, mindfulness, community and connection, relationships.

If you choose to watch the video, I hope it is as impactful to you as it was to me.

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