There’s a beautiful commencement speech that’s making the rounds on many social networking sites. And rightfully so. “This is Water,” by David Foster Wallace, was first brought to my attention by a co-worker of mine who was a fan of his work. She proudly displayed his speech, tacked to the cork board of her cubicle.
The full speech is available online, but the over-arching theme is about awareness and learning how to think. Between the well-placed platitudes and the ambiguous moral message, there’s a good portion that Wallace dedicates to “the grind.” In Wallace’s words, “there happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration.”
A few years out of college, this is becoming all too apparent to me. A web devotee, who was both fortunate and unfortunate enough to find a job that coincides with that love, I often spend most of the day in front of a screen. It’s an occupational hazard that in order to do my job, I have to immerse myself into a portion of peoples lives with a detachment born of necessity. When you eat, drink and breathe computers, sometimes it can be hard to “unplug.”