Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Goodness: “We have the Power to Imagine Better,” JK Rowling

In 2008 JK Rowling delivered the commencement address to Harvard’s graduating class. The whole speech is incredible. Her opinion on the benefits of failure is something I agree with and have tried to encompass in The Ancient Realm. But the passage I have chosen to share here is not about failure or her other key topic, imagination. This passage is about all of our real powers to imagine and commit to making this world better.
Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden. 
If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.  Harvard 2008 Commencement Address: The Fringe benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination, JK Rowling

Please click here for a video and text of JK Rowling’s whole speech. Regardless of whether you are a fan of Harry Potter, you will value the words of this speech.

To view Sarah's middle grade fiction book click here: Paperback and Kindle 

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