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Humility, Hope & Nuance

Last week, my younger daughter graduated from high school.  It was, to say the least, an unusual graduation, taking place entirely online.  In an effort to replicate at least a smidgen of the typical pomp and circumstance, my daughter asked me to write her a graduation speech.  This is what I delivered: Commencement speeches are a tough genre. It is extremely difficult to offer up anything even remotely original.Everything has been said before, usually many times over. The world is your oyster…Follow your passion…The generations before you have screwed things up so we need you to help fix the world…Blah blah blah.   Instead of repeating these clichés, I want to encourage you to embrace three simple values: humility, hope, and nuance. Humility First, humility.  You have probably noticed that the world is pretty messed up right now.  Many of you will be understandably outraged by the continued existence of poverty, oppression, and violence, among other urgent problems.  Here’s the bad news: t…

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