It was a most unusual commencement address.
“I’m certainly not there to give career advice,” comedian Tim Minchin told students graduating from an Australian university, “because I’ve never really had what most people would consider a job.”
No, he gave them life advice that was as inspiring as it was unconventional. In a beautiful speech that encouraged students to not become slaves to winning and success as they go out in the world, he urged them to, instead, “micro dream” so they are not so overwhelmed by big dreams that they risk missing the best parts of life.
Among the nine life rules he imparted in his address, Minchin listed “Exercise” — “Take care of your body, you’re going to need it,” he recommended.
And although he didn’t directly say it, his Rule #5 — “Be hard on your beliefs” — is the first step to questioning religious superstitions.
He urged students to “take their beliefs out onto the veranda and hit them with a cricket bat. … Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privileges.”
Identify yourself by what you love, Minchin also recommended, and “be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff.”
It was a magnificent address in its efficient, heartfelt use of language to inspire new graduates to find diamonds in the rough not by feverishly looking for them but by not looking.
This video is totally worth watching.