When the gods dance...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stephen Colbert 2011 Commencement Speech at Northwestern University

"Thankfully, dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don’t achieve it, you haven’t failed, and you’re not some loser. But just as importantly – and this is the part I may not get right and you may not listen to – if you do get your dream, you are not a winner.

"Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you are mostly just yanking ideas out of your ass as you go along. And like improv, you cannot win your life. And even when it might look like you are winning, for instance, I have my own show, which I love doing, full of very talented people, who are eager and ready to serve me, and that is great, but at it’s best I am serving them just as hard. And together we serve a common idea, in this case the character Stephen Colbert... And a sure sign that things are going well, is that no one can remember whose idea’s was whose, or who should get credit for what jokes. Though, naturally, I get credit for them all. But, if we should serve others and together serve some common goal or idea for anyone of you, what is that idea? And who are those people? In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love. Because service is love made visible. If you love friends, you will serve your friends. If you love community, you will serve your community. If you love money, you will serve your money. And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself, and you will have only yourself. So, no winning. Instead, try to love others, and serve others and hopefully find those who will love and serve you in return."

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