President Clinton's Speech At Harvard Class Day - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-08-2007, 09:29 AM   #1
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President Clinton's Speech At Harvard Class Day

Funny story about Rush, and some mentions of Bono too.

And I leave you with this thought. When Martin Luther King was invited here in 1968, the country was still awash in racism. The next decade it was awash in sexism, and after that in homophobia. And occasionally those things rear their ugly head along the way, but by and large, nobody in this class is going to carry those chains around through life. But nobody gets out for free, and everyone has temptations. The great temptation for all of you is to believe that the one-tenth of one percent of you which is different and which brought you here and which can bring you great riches or whatever else you want, is really the sum of who you are and that you deserve your good fate, and others deserve their bad one. That is the trap into which you must not fall. Warren Buffett's just about to give away 99 percent of his money because he said most of it he made because of where he was born and when he was born. It was a lucky accident. And his work was rewarded in this time and place more richly than the work of teachers and police officers and nurses and doctors and people who cared for those who deserve to be cared for. So he’s just going to give it away. And still with less than one percent left, have more than he could ever spend. Because he realizes that it wasn’t all due to the one-tenth of one percent, and that his common humanity requires him to give money to those for whom it will mean much more.

In the central highlands in Africa where I work, when people meet each other walking, nearly nobody rides, and people meet each other walking on the trails, and one person says hello, how are you, good morning, the answer is not I’m fine, how are you. The answer translated into English is this: I see you. Think of that. I see you. How many people do all of us pass every day that we never see? You know, we all haul out of here, somebody’s going to come in here and fold up 20-something thousand chairs. And clean off whatever mess we leave here. And get ready for tomorrow and then after tomorrow, someone will have to fix that. Many of those people feel that no one ever sees them. I would never have seen the people in Aceh in Indonesia if a terrible misfortune had not struck. And so, I leave you with that thought. Be true to the tradition of the great people who have come here. Spend as much of your time and your heart and your spirit as you possibly can thinking about the 99.9 percent. See everyone and realize that everyone needs new beginnings. Enjoy your good fortune. Enjoy your differences, but realize that our common humanity matters much, much more. God bless you and good luck.

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Old 06-08-2007, 09:37 AM   #2
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haven't listened yet, but was told that his speech reduced people to tears. it was Clinton as his empathetic best.

here's a link to the video:

i'm going to watch it during lunch.

ETA: you'll need to fast foward to around 01:35:00 or so for Bill.

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Old 06-08-2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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Beautiful, beautiful speech. He's absolutely right. It would be nice to see that sort of humanity and dignity from our current political leaders (on both sides of the aisle).
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:46 PM   #4
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I knew I should have gone to Harvard. I went to UConn, and our speaker was Michael Bolton.

And yes it was a great speech.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:49 PM   #5
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Originally posted by CTU2fan
I knew I should have gone to Harvard. I went to UConn, and our speaker was Michael Bolton.
But Bill Clinton can't sing When A Man Loves A Woman (oops, maybe that wasn't the best choice )

Thanks for the video link Irvine, it's so much better to see him deliver it than to just read it on paper. He has such a gift. I agree that it was a beautiful speech.
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