“It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over.”



David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech is about thriving throughout life’s day-to-day trivialities and frustrations through one simple tool — awareness. It’s about switching off your autopilot and finding beauty in the most infuriating and mind-numbing of situations — stuff like standing in line for a checkout.

There’s an alternative video which cuts out quite a lot of the talk but has some actors play out the parts of the people in the supermarket — it’s worth checking out too.

For another awesome commencement speech, check out my just make good art post.