Blaise Pascal, PenseĆ© 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Saturday, May 12, 2012

J. K. Rowling Speaks at the Harvard Commencement

Next week, graduation. Congratulations to all the graduates, and especially the students who have been in my classes. I have shared this commencement speech by classics major J. K. Rowling at Harvard (2008) with my graduating students for the last three years. Here is Rowling on the importance of both failure and imagination:

"What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality." Plutarch. That is what education is all about.

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