Phi Beta Cons

Why Not Commence with Wisdom?

I’ve been thinking about these words from Steve Jobs’s Stanford commencement speech:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

There is beauty in that, but I wonder if there will ever be a commencement address that might say something like this:

There is a great deal of wisdom embedded in our tradition; a great many great people have preceded you in life, and they fought many life battles and left behind many extraordinary and useful life lessons. Why not avail yourself of this great heritage, some of which I hope you have studied during your time here at Wisdom College. Why waste your time re-inventing the wheel or fooling yourself that you can create a philosophy of life from scratch? Why not consider it part of your journey of self-discovery to sift through what your forebears have discovered before you and find out what works in your life and what you would like to pass on in turn.

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