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(May 15, 2012)

Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day. Civility, respect, kindness, character. You’re too good for schadenfreude, you’re too good for gossip and snark, you’re too good for intolerance—and since you’re walking into the middle of a presidential election, it’s worth mentioning that you’re too good to think people who disagree with you are your enemy.

Well, because I get all nostalgic when I see students graduate and think back to my own rites-of-passage from High School (European version of it, naturally) and as I finished my BA and MA. And I do love Sorkin’s unwavering idealism (even when he channels President Bartlet  and C.J. Cregg  – in a very postmodern way: Sorkin, who wrote the first four seasons of the TV-drama ‘The West Wing’ had the fictional President Bartlett quiting Margerat mead saying that “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world” and both Bartlet and uber-awesome press secretary Claudia Jean Cregg says that “Decisions are made by those who showup.” Scripted by Sorking, quoting others but delivered with such soaring commitment that you want to run and show up some place to make some decisions).

Happy graduation to students around the world! And to those millions who were denied education: We are not gonna leave you behind. Education is a right, not a privilege…

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