“You’re Not Special”

by Kathy on June 11, 2012 · 8 comments

in Dreams, Expectations, Happiness, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Quotes, The Future, Transitions

You’ve probably heard about this speech somewhere lately.

It was on my radar, but I hadn’t taken the time to try to find and read it. Thankfully today it found its way to me through an old friend who shared a link to it on Facebook, which showed up in my news feed.

It was just what I needed to read today.

These words mean more to me now as a thirtysomething wife and mother, then they probably would have or could have if I had heard them on my high school graduation day.

I am having a rough day emotionally, for many reasons, and seeing my friend’s suggestion to read something with this title, I felt hesitant to interrupt my pity party, but am so glad that I did.

There were so many powerful parts of David McCullough Jr.’s commencement speech for me, but this was my favorite part:

Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view.

Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.

Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly.

Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them.

And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself.

If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you take a few minutes in the near future to read why David McCullogh Jr. thinks “(we) aren’t special.”

I believe that it will be worth your time and hope that it speaks to you, wherever you are at in your life right now, the way it did to me.

It definitely helped me to step outside of myself and get some much needed perspective today.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kevin Axe June 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I really, really like this speech.


2 Kathy June 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Me too Dad!
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3 loribeth June 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Thanks, Kathy — I had heard about this, but seeing your post on Facebook was what prompted me to read it — and I very much agree with him!
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4 Kathy June 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

You are welcome and I am glad! 🙂
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5 Mel June 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Isn’t it such a fantastic speech? I love this: “Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”

I heard that he didn’t get a standing ovation. Seriously, he gave some of the best advice ever.
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6 Kathy June 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Yes and me too!

That’s crazy that he didn’t get that. I agree, it is awesome advice, but as I said in my post I appreciate it so much more as an adult in my thirties than I think I would have when I was 18, or at least I understand it more fully than I could have back then.
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7 Lori Lavender Luz June 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I picked the same resonant line that Mel did. and I really like the Paris part, too. Too often we do thing just to say we’ve DONE them rather than to enjoy them.

Thanks for pointing out this wisdom to me.

And I hope your week gets much better soon 🙂
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8 Kathy June 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Great minds think alike and you and Mel certainly have them/do that!

You are welcome Lori.

And thank you for your kind words, my week did get better/my mood picked up! 🙂
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