The 316 Best Commencement Speeches

The auto-fill on the search tool for NPR’s new app, “The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever,” is the (great) speech Lisa Kudrow gave at my own graduation, so I’m obligated to suggest you watch it, but there’s plenty more here to choose from. 316 made the cut; click around just for a second and you’ll find yourself, for example, in Adrienne Rich’s address to Douglass College’s class of 1977 [click to download in full]:

Responsibility to yourself means… resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be “different”; not to be continuously available to others when we need time for ourselves and our work; to be able to demand of others — parents, friends, roommates, teachers, lovers, husbands, children — that they respect our sense of purpose and our integrity as persons. Women everywhere are finding the courage to do this, more and more, and we are finding that courage both in our study of women in the past who possessed it, and in each other as we look to other women for comradeship, community, and challenge. The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.

Plenty more to choose from. Have a look. [NPR]