Samantha Power

Commencement Address at Indiana University - May 4, 2019

Samantha Power
May 04, 2019— Indiana University, Bloomington
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HELLO, CLASS OF 2019. IT IS AN INCREDIBLE HONOR TO BE AMONG YOU, TO BE KIND OF CLASS OF 2019 IN MY OWN LITTLE WAY.

I JUST CAN'T TELL YOU WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE UP HERE LOOKING OUT AT THIS VAST SEA OF INSPIRING AND INSPIRED, I HOPE, PEOPLE AND THESE AMAZING, SHINING FACES—NOT SHINING BECAUSE OF THE RAIN, SHINING BECAUSE OF THE EXCITEMENT OF WHAT LIES AHEAD.

AS I LOOK OUT AT WHAT IS ACTUALLY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, I THINK TO MYSELF, THIS IS ACTUALLY THE CLOSEST THAT I'M EVERE GOING TO GET IN MY LIFE TO FEELING LIKE TAYLOR SWIFT. SO I'M JUST GOING TO BASK IN THIS MOMENT FOR A MINUTE.

INDIANA IS SUCH A STORIED, EPIC UNIVERSITY. YOU SHOULD FEEL INCREDIBLE ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. FIRST OF ALL, YOU GOT IN. YOU GOT IN TO ONE OF INDIANA UNIVERSITY'S INTENSELY COMPETITIVE PROGRAMS, AND YOU DIDN'T JUST COMPLETE YOUR DEGREES. FROM EVERYTHING I HAVE READ AND BEEN TOLD, YOU HAVE THRIVED, AND YOU WILL THRIVE. CONGRATULATIONS.

I HAVE INCREDIBLY WARM FEELINGS MYSELF TOWARD THIS PLACE, TOWARD THIS UNIVERSITY. I WAS A BASKETBALL PLAYER IN HIGH SCHOOL IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA. I THINK I MIGHT HAVE WATCHED THE MOVE "HOOSIERS" THE NIGHT BEFORE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY BIG GAMES, AND I REMEMBER "THE SHOT," KEITH SMART'S FADEAWAY TO WIN THE 1987 CHAMPIONSHIP LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY, AS THE UNDERGRADS LOOK AT ME RATHER BLANKLY. I KNOW I'M DATING MYSELF, BUT MUCH WORSE THAN THAT, I AM DATING YOUR PARENTS.

ENOUGH ABOUT ME.

I HAVE GREAT NEWS FOR YOU. I HAVE COME HERE TODAY TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT RUSSIA. WHAT? THAT'S NOT GREAT NEWS? THE RAIN HAS CLOUDED MY JUDGMENT? YOU'RE THINKING WHY THE HELL DID PRESIDENT MCROBBIE INVITE THIS PERSON TO OUR COMMENCEMENT? I SEE WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM, BUT JUST BEAR WITH ME. I'LL BRING IT BACK TO YOU IN JUST A MINUTE.

I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO MAKE TWO VERY SIMPLE, LARGE POINTS TODAY—KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN, AND SHRINK THE CHANGE THAT YOU SEEK.

BUT BEFORE I DO THAT, LET ME GET BACK TO RUSSIA. WHEN I HAD THE EXTRAORDINARY PRIVILEGE OF SERVING AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N., WHO WAS NAMED VITALY CHURKIN, WAS MY ARCH FOE. WHEN I ARRIVED IN 2013 TO BEGIN MY STINT, WHICH WOULD LAST NEARLY FOUR YEARS, VITALY HAD ALREADY BEEN U.N. AMBASSADOR SEVEN YEARS. HE WAS A GIFTED NEGOTIATOR. HE WAS A MASTER TACTICIAN.

THIS ALL WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD THING EXCEPT THAT HE REPRESENTED A GOVERNMENT LOCKING UP ITS CRITICS AT HOME WHILE INVADING ITS NEIGHBOR UKRAINE AND INDISCRIMINATELY RAINING BOMBS DOWN ON SYRIAN POPULATION CENTERS. AS RUSSIA'S REPRESENTATIVE AT THE U.N., VITALY ADMITTED NONE OF THIS. INSTEAD, HE REPEATED HIS GOVERNMENT'S FABRICATIONS AND LIES ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN UKRAINE AND SYRIA.

BUT, I HAD A PROBLEM. RUSSIA HAD A VETO ON THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL. THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL IS THE BODY THAT FDR AND WINSTON CHURCHILL AND STALIN GAVE POWER TO ENFORCE GLOBAL SECURITY. SO IF I, ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES, WANTED TO IMPOSE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON TERRORISTS OR WAR CRIMINALS OR IF I WANTED TO SEND PEACE KEEPERS OFF TO SOME DISTANT WAR ZONE TO TRY TO HELP PREVENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND MASS ATROCITIES, I NEEDED RUSSIA. I NEEDED VITALY.

THIS MEANT NOT ONLY DID I HAVE TO WORK WITH HIM, WHEN WE NEGOTIATED, I HAD TO LISTEN CAREFULLY TO WHAT HE WAS SAYING. TO BE EFFECTIVE IN MY JOB, TO PROMOTE OUR COUNTRY'S INTERESTS, I HAD TO SOMEHOW PUT MYSELF IN HIS SHOES. AND I DID THIS FOR PURELY FOR TACTICAL, PRAGMATIC REASONS. BUT AS I DID SO, I BEGAN TO GET TO KNOW HIM, IN SPITE MYSELF.

IT TURNED OUT THAT HE BELIEVED FERVENTLY IN THE NECESSITY OF U.S.-RUSSIAN COOPERATION. HE HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN ARMS CONTROL NEGOTIATIONS DURING THE COLD WAR, AND FROM THESE TALKS HE HAD DRAWN A LESSON. EVEN WHEN RUSSIA'S OVERALL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE U.S. WAS STRAINED, WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TOGETHER TO CARVE OUT DISCREET AREAS FOR PROGRESS.

TURNED OUT HE ALSO HAD A LIVELY SENSE OF HUMOR. WHEN I ONCE WENT ON TOO LONG SPEAKING BEFORE THE COUNCIL, HE RESPONDED, 'AFTER HEARING ALL THAT THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES FELT SHE NEEDED TO SHARE WITH US TODAY, I'M AM TEMPTED TO READ MY STATEMENT TWICE."

ON ONE OCCASION WHEN WE WERE ARGUING AFTER A COUNCIL SESSION, I TOLD HIM THAT I KNEW HE HAD MIXED MOTIVATES. I KNEW THAT HE WAS BEING HALF SINCERE AND HALF ULTERIOR. "NO," HE COUNTERED. "WE ARE FULLY SINCERE ABOUT ACHIEVING OUR ULTERIOR MOTIVE."

BY CONTINUING TO WORK CLOSELY WITH VITALY, EVEN THOUGH I WAS HORRIFIED BY PRESIDENT PUTIN'S ACTIONS, I BELIEVE I GOT FAR MORE DONE FOR THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD THAN HAD I DONE WHAT I WAS VERY, VERY TEMPTED TO DO—WHICH IS WALK AWAY.

WE COOPERATED ON BUILDING NEW INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORKS TO CUT OFF THE FLOW OF FUNDS TO ISIS. WE WORKED TOGETHER TO EMBED THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT INTO INTERNATIONAL LAW. AND WHEN WE DISAGREED FUNDAMENTALLY, BECAUSE I TRIED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT MOTIVATED THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR, I WAS ACTULLY BETTER ABLE TO PREDICT WHAT HE COULD DO NEXT, WHICH WAS A STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE.

NOW, BACK TO YOU.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH YOU? WELL, YOU ARE ENTERING THE SO-CALLED "REAL WORLD" AT THE TIME OF THE GREATEST POLITICAL POLARIZATION, NOT ONLY OF YOUR LIFETIMES BUT OF YOUR PARENTS' AND YOUR GRANDPARENTS' LIFETIMES. AT JUST THE TIME THAT WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER, THAT WE NEED TO PROBLEM SOLVE OVER ISSUES OF INEQUALITY AND INJUSTICE, WE ARE POLARIZED.

AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL WE APPEAR TO HAVE LOST MUCH ABILITY TO WORK ACROSS THE AISLE. THIS IS NOT JUST A PROBLEM AMONG POLITICIANS. IN 1960, ONLY 5% OF AMERICANS SAID THEY WOULD BE UPSET IF THEIR CHILD MARRIED SOMEONE IN THE OTHER POLITICAL PARTY. IN 2010, 49% OF REPUBLICANS AND 33% OF DEMOCRATS SAID THEY WOULD BE MAD. AND FOR SOME REASON, PEOPLE SEEM TOO AFRAID TO POLL THIS QUESTION NOW, BUT I THINK WE KNOW HOW MUCH MORE DISTURBING THE RESULTS WOULD BE BECAUSE IN 2017 ACCORDING TO PEW, ONLY 9% OF REPUBLICANS AND 8% OF DEMOCRATS SAY THEIR SPOUSE IS A MEMBER OF THE OTHER POLITICAL PARTY.

THE SALIENCE OF OUR POLITICAL IDENTITIES IN THE U.S. IS NOW FAR GREATER, I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY, THAN THE SALIENCE OF ALL WE HAVE IN COMMON AS PARENTS, AS NEIGHBORS, AS CITIZENS.

REMEMBER I SAID THAT RUSSIA HAS A VETO ON THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL. BECAUSE OUR COUNTRY, THE UNITED STATES, IS ROUGHLY SPLIT DOWN THE MIDDLE POLITICALLY BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, IT IS AS IF WE HAVE A VETO IN OUR DOMESTIC POLITICAL LIFE, OUR INSTITUTIONS, AS WELL. IF WE WANT TO SUPPORT THOSE GETTING LEFT BEHIND BY GLOBALIZATION AND AUTOMATION—AS WE MUST—BOTH PARTIES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LIFT THEIR VETO OF ONE ANOTHER'S PROPOSALS.

GAY MARRIAGE IS THE LAW OF THE LAND TODAY BECAUSE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS EVOLVED TO NO LONGER VETO IT AND EVEN NOW TO STRONGLY SUPPORT IT. IF YOU EVER DOUBTED THAT OUR COUNTRY HAD THE ABILITY TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, JUST LOOK AT HOW MAYOR PETE IS FARING. THINK ABOUT IT. HIS LINGUISTIC MASTERY OF NORWEGIAN IS MORE NEWSWORTHY THAN HIS SEXUAL ORIENTATION—AT LEAST SO FAR.

MANY OF YOU HAVE DEEPLY HELD BELIEFS THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. ALL OF US DO. WHAT IS DIFFERENT TODAY, I THINK, IS THAT WE ARE AT RISK OF LOSING OUR SHARED FOUNDATION WHICH IS WHAT THIS AMAZING UNIVERSITY HAS INSTILLED IN YOU AND REINFORCED IN YOU, WHICH IS OUR REVERENCE FOR FACTS AND TRUTH.

AS MY PREDECESSOR AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N., DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, ONCE SAID MEMORABLY, "EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO HIS OWN OPINION, BUT NOT TO HIS OWN FACTS."

BUT TODAY WE ARE SEEING PEOPLE WILL THEIR WAY OUT OF SO MANY TRUTHS, INCLUDING, TRAGICALLY, VACCINATIONS. THE REALM OF OPINION IS A RAPIDLY EXPANDING EMPIRE PENETRATING FIELDS THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY INSISTED ON EMPIRICAL GROUNDING. THE SPREAD OF FALSEHOODS AND THE REJECTION OF EVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF OBJECTIVE TRUTH HAS LEFT US OFTEN LACKING A SHARED FACTUAL BASIS ON WHICH TO BASE PUBLIC POLICY AND ENGAGE IN REASONED DISCOURSE.

NOW LET ME STRESS THAT EVEN AS WE MUST LISTEN TO ARGUMENTS WE DISAGREE WITH, WE STILL CHERISH THOSE FACTS. THUS WE MUST REJECT AN EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN A DENIER OF SCIENCE—A DENIER, LET'S SAY, OF CLIMATE CHANGE, AND A SCIENTIST WHO HAS RUN THE NUMBERS AND WHO HAS THE FACTS AND WHO HAS THE EMPIRICISM. WE MUST REJECT EQUIVALENCE OF A NEWS OUTLET THAT MAKES A MISTAKE, ISSUES A RETRACTION AND APOLOGIZES AND ON THE OTHER, THOSE THAT MIGHT REITERATE FALSEHOODS, NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, DEFAMING PEOPLE'S REPUTATIONS AND PEDDLING LIES, BECAUSE LIES, UNFORTUNATELY, HAVE BEGUN TO SELL.

SO MY FIRST APPEAL TO YOU TODAY IS, DO YOUR BEST WHEN YOU LEAVE THIS AWESOME UNIVERSITY, TO KEEP YOUR EYES AND MINDS OPEN AND TO NEVER GIVE UP ON FACTS, ON SCIENCE, ON TRUTH AND ON REASONED ARGUMENT.

TAKE YOUR CUE FROM INDIANA GREATS, LIKE LEE HAMILTON AND THE LATE, GREAT RICHARD LUGAR. DO AS THEY DID. PUT PROBLEM SOLVING ABOVE IDEOLOGY. SENATOR LUGAR EARNED THE NICKNAME "REASON'S QUIET WARRIOR." JOIN THAT WARRIOR TRADITION.

NOW, THE PITCH THAT I HAVE JUST OFFERED MAY NOT SPEAK TO SOME OF YOU. YOU MAY NOT CONSIDER YOURSELF TERRIBLY POLITICAL. AND I MUST SAY I WAS LIKE YOU WHEN I WAS SITTING IN YOUR CHAIR, GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE. I HAD VERY LITTLE IN COMMON WITH THE 29 TRIPLE MAJORS WHO ARE GRADUATING TODAY. DEAR, LORD. PARENTS, WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO RAISE THESE PEOPLE? INCREDIBLE. MUST BE INCREDIBLE PARENTS, TOO.

GROWING UP, I HAD ONE AMBITION, WHICH IS THAT I WANTED TO BE A SPORTSCASTER. I WANTED TO BE LIKE THE LATE, GREAT, "OH, MY!" DICK ENBERG, WHO GOT HIS MASTERS AND DOCTORATE RIGHT HERE AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY, AND WHO BECAME THE FIRST EVER STUDENT ANNOUNCER ON THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY SPORTS NETWORK.

THIRTY YEARS AND ONE MONTH AGO TODAY, HOWEVER, I WAS WORKING AS AN INTERN AT THE CBS SPORTS AFFILIATE IN ATLANTA ONE SUMMER DURING COLLEGE, AND I WAS TAKING NOTES ON AN ATLANTA BRAVES-SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS BASEBALL GAME. AS I DID SO, ON THE CBS NEWS FEED CAME FOOTAGE FROM A MASSACRE THAT WAS BEING CARRIED OUT IN BEIJING, CHINA, IN TIANANMEN SQUARE. THIRTY YEARS AND ONE MONTH AGO TODAY.

IT WAS ONLY THEN, AT THAT MOMENT, THAT THOUGHT, "THERE ARE REALLY BIG THINGS HAPPENING OUT IN THE WORLD. I'M GOING TO GO BACK TO CAMPUS AND I'M GOING TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT WITH MY LIFE.

BUT STILL, JUST BECAUSE THOUGHT I MIGHT WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE DID NOT MEAN THAT I THOUGHT I COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THAT WAS A BIG OLD LEAP. AND I BET SOME OF YOU ARE FEELING THAT WAY, LIKE YOU ARE SMALL AND ONE PERSON AND THE PROBLEMS OUT THERE ARE JUST SO VERY LARGE.

WHEN WE FEEL LIKE THIS, IT CAN CREATE A DOOM LOOP, WHERE WE DON'T THINK ANYTHING THAT WE CAN DO SPECIFICALLY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND IF WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE A DENT, WE HANG BACK. WE DON'T MAKE OURSELVES VULNERABLE, WE DON'T PUT OURSELVES OUT THERE.

SO THIS IS MY SECOND AND FINAL APPEAL TO YOU TODAY, WHICH IS SHRINK THE CHANGE.

THIS IS A PHRASE NOT ORIGINAL TO ME. IT COMES FROM A WONDERFUL BOOK CALLED "SWITCH HOW TO CHANGE THINGS WHEN CHANGE IS HARD," WRITTEN BY DAN AND CHIP HEATH, PSYCHOLOGISTS. THESE BROTHERS STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF RESISTING THE TEMPTATION…IN THE FACE OF THOSE BIG PROBLEMS, RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO PURSUE LARGE REMEDIES.

THE QUESTION YOU ARE ASKING, PROBABLY, IS "YEAH, BUT IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE OR REFUGEES OR INEQUALITY, WHAT CAN ONE PERSON DO?"

AND HERE'S THE MESSAGE, IN TERMS OF SHRINKING THE CHANGE—THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING. THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING WE CAN DO.

TODAY, MY HUSBAND INFORMED ME AS I WAS WALKING OVER HERE, IS INTERNATIONAL STAR WARS DAY. A HISTORIC RANDOM HOLIDAY THAT MY HUSBAND APPEARS TO BE FOCUSED ON. GEORGE LUCAS, THE CREATOR OF "STAR WARS," PUT IT BEST WHEN HE SAID, "EVERYBODY HAS THE CHOICE OF BEING A HERO OR NOT BEING A HERO EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES. YOU CAN EITHER HELP SOMEBODY, YOU CAN BE COMPASSIONATE TOWARD PEOPLE, YOU CAN TREAT SOME PEOPLE WITH DIGNITY OR NOT."

HIS POINT WAS, AGAIN, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING WE CAN DO, SOMETHING IN OUR IMMEDIATE VICINITY TO RESPECT SOMEONE'S DIGNITY, TO ELEVATE THEM.

WHEN I WAS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N., I OFTEN FELT OVERWHELMED, I WILL ADMIT, THAT THE CHANGES WE WERE MAKING WERE NOT KEEPING UP WITH THE PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD AROUND US. BUT WHENEVER I DESPAIRED, I WOULD SIT DOWN WITH MY TEAM OF YOUNG DIPLOMAT, SOME NOT MUCH OLDER THAN THE GRADUATES TODAY, AND BRAINSTORM WHERE WE COULD DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE.

IT WAS THROUGH THIS PROCESS THAT WE CAME UP WITH A CAMPAIGN KNOWN AS THE "FREE THE 20" CAMPAIGN, #FREETHE20. WE SET OUT TO TRY TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF 20 WOMEN POLITICAL PRISONERS AROUND THE WORLD, PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN LOCKED UP SIMPLY FOR SPEAKING THEIR MINDS, FOR TRYING TO MAKE THEIR COMMUNITIES BETTER.

AIDED BY THESE TECH SAVVY YOUNG PEOPLE, EVERY DAY FOR 20 DAYS I POSTED A VIDEO TO FACEBOOK IN WHICH I DESCRIBED THE FEATURED WOMAN'S WORK AND THE CHARGES AGAINST HER IN COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA, ETHIOPIA, EGYPT. AND EVERY DAY I WOULD HANG A HUGE, JUMBO PORTRAIT OF THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW OF THE U.S. MISSION TO THE U.N., WHICH WAS ACROSS THE STREET FROM U.N. HEADQUARTERS.

AND THE DIGNITARIES WERE IN TOWN, BECAUSE ALL THE HEADS OF STATE WERE GATHERED, SO THEY HAD TO WALK BY AND SEE THE WOMEN THAT SOME OF THEM HAD LOCKED UP, HANGING IN THE GLASS WINDOW OF THE U.S. MISSION TO THE U.N., WHICH WAS PERHAPS NOT AS DIPLOMATIC AS I WAS ADVISED TO BE ALL THE TIME.

BUT BEYOND THAT, BECAUSE I'VE STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF BIPARTISANSHIP, THAT I REACHED OUT TO KELLY AYOTTE, WHO WAS A REPUBLICAN SENATOR IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND ASKED IF THE WOMEN SENATORS IN THE U.S. SENATE WOULD SPONSOR A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF GETTING THESE WOMEN OUT OF JAIL. AND AS IT HAPPENED, GUESS HOW MANY U.S. WOMEN SENATORS THERE WERE? TWENTY. SO THE 20 REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC SENATORS CAME TOGETHER IN SUPPORT OF THIS AND ULTIMATELY 16 OF THE 20 WOMEN WERE FREED FROM JAIL.

FOR ME, THAT'S A SMALL, VERY SMALL—TALK ABOUT SHRINKING THE CHANGE, HUGE DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS RECESSION HAPPENING THAT I HOPE SOME OF YOU WILL GO OUT TO TRY TO CONTEND WITH, BUT THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO. AND THOSE WOMEN ARE NOW BACK IN THEIR COMMUNITIES TRYING TO EXTEND THE CHANGE AND PROMOTE THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THEIR NEIGHBORS.

SO WE DIDN'T END REPRESSION IN THE WORLD ANY MORE THAN MY COLLABORATION WITH THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR ENDED THE WAR IN THE UKRAINE, BUT IT MADE A SMALL DIFFERENCE. AND IN THE TIME THAT WE MORTALS HAVE ON EARTH, THAT IS SOMETHING.

IN CONCLUDING—GRADUATES, AGAIN, REMEMBER, YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING REMARKABLE. YOU HAVE LABORED MIGHTILY THROUGHOUT YOUR LIVES TO BRING YOURSELF TO THIS HISTORIC OCCASION, TO THIS DAY. YOU EXCELLED HERE. YOU EARNED THIS. YOUR MINDS HAVE GOBBLED UP LEGIONS OF NEW FACTS AND YOU HAVE DEBATED AMONGST YOURSELF COUNTLESS NEW FRAMEWORKS.

NOW TAKE THAT SPIRIT OUT INTO THE WORLD, SPRINKLE ITS FAIRY DUST ON THOSE YOU SEE WHO MIGHT BE TUNING OTHER PEOPLE OUT. IF YOU CAN'T TALK POLITICS WITH SOMEONE, MAYBE YOU CAN FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT. EXTEND THAT HAND, IF YOU CAN. CROSS THAT DIVIDE.

SEE IF SOMETHING SURPRISES YOU. AND AS YOU DO THAT, SEE IF YOU CAN'T HIVE OFF ONE SMALL SLIVER OF ONE PROBLEM TO ADDRESS.

BY DOING SO, NOT ONLY—I PROMISE—NOT ONLY WILL IT OFFER IMMENSE SPIRITUAL SATISFACTION, IT WILL HAVE THE ADDED BENEFIT OF MAKING THE WORLD AROUND YOU A LITTLE BIT BETTER.

THANK YOU, GRADUATES, FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE THIS DAY WITH YOU. YOU ARE THE NEXT GENERATIONS OF REASON'S QUIET—OR NOT SO QUIET—WARRIORS, AND WE ARE COUNTING ON YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.