A Response to the Transcription of the 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address

            Even though the speech is quite long in length, its structure and humor keeps me well engaged. The way Dr. Wallace weave the funny short stories, examples, and serious ideas together creates an interesting address that conveys his thoughts clearly and efficiently.

            The speech reminds me of my visit to the Mayan ruins in Yucatan, Mexico, during a cruise trip this summer. After just getting off the ship, I was reluctant to go on a tedious bus trip. Just ten minutes on the highway, and I already missed the magnificent view that accompanied the gentle rocking of the ocean. However, as we drove to a road peppered with grocery stores and shabby houses, I found people in simple garments sitting at the doorsteps, staring aimlessly at the road under the blazing sun. Another ancient man was selling meat to a lady, who was trying to bargain with the butcher. A thought then instantly jumped in: pick out anyone from that settlement, and he or she would be very different from me. For the next thirty minutes, I would be wondering about if I had brought my sunscreen with me, or hoping that I would not be standing in the scorching sun for too long once I get to the site. However, the lady at the butchery might be carefully rationing out her income, so she could buy more grocery without running out of the money. The butcher might be worrying about the fact that he could not sell all the meat today, so the meat might rot or he might not be able to make enough money to support his family. This thought leads me to a saying that is almost cliché nowadays: we take too many things for granted. Like what Dr. Wallace suggested, I chose to change my way of thinking from hating this tedious bus trip to an important reminder of who I am in this world.

            It is hard to concentrate, to live in the reality of this busy world that is always spinning and buzzing. Thus the mind becomes a safe and quiet retreat for many, sheltering them from the bombarding information and activity in their lives. However, it is often important to choose not to be enslaved by the mind and step out into the unknown terrain.

Link to Speech: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~drkelly/DFWKenyonAddress2005.pdf


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