Two ears, one mouth

Cue Adele singing the theme from Skyfall. This is the end.

Over the lifespan of this blog, I’ve talked about a wide range of topics, beginning with topical matters, such as television, movies, and local attractions, then maturing to discuss cultural phenomena and secrets to happiness. Now I take one more step in admitting that I don’t know everything.

It’s been fun sharing my own musings and speculations, but I don’t have it all figured out by any means. My accumulated wisdom to this point is a homogeneous solution comprised of one part my own novel thoughts and nine parts the tried and true ideas of others. I read somewhere we were born with two ears and only one mouth so we could listen twice as loudly as we speak. While that explanation doesn’t really hold up under an evolutionary perspective, it is a nice anecdotal reminder to listen to the folks around you.

I love commencement speeches. Ever since Miss Laurie Fay placed in my hands a life-changing copy of Anna Quindlen’s address to Mount Holyoke College’s Class of ’99, I have often turned to speeches as a source of both validation in what I am doing, as well as motivation to keep improving. They are small, easy-to-swallow tablets of wisdom, thoughts from a different perspective. They are invaluable, and the best part is, they are nearly innumerable. Celebrities give them, as well as authors, scientists, and world leaders. They present words straight from the mouths of not only the brightest individuals, but those who have lived lives full of trial and error, failures and successes. They know what works, and they know how to avoid what doesn’t. You can save yourself a lot of grief by listening to just one, and you can fill your life with wisdom if you continue to listen, not only to the carefully selected words of these great minds, but also to the great minds you are lucky enough to be around.

I want to start you off with one of the most eye-opening speeches I’ve heard, given by author David Foster Wallace to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. It is simple, and it is profound. It will change your life if you allow it. It will make you better.

I have enjoyed writing this blog beyond words, and I truly hope you have enjoyed reading. Have a wonderful summer. Good luck out there.


Let me know what you thought of the speech, and if you find any that I should know about! As usual, you can e-mail me at [email protected], or tweet me @sweeeeeens. Thanks for reading!