Isabel Allende, 2012 TMS Commencement Speaker
Posted June 26, 2012
Special thanks to Isabel Allende, 2012 TMS Commencement speaker. Her granddaughter, Sabrina Schroeder-Dammann, was one of the TMS seniors graduating this year. Here's a portion of her speech:
"And this brings us to happiness. The American Constitution mentions the right to pursue happiness. Let me tell you, happiness is overrated. I never intended to have a happy life, I wanted and eventful li...fe. I still do. There is nothing wrong with stress and pain. Actually, if you plan to write your memoirs in the future, you need stress and pain, otherwise, what are you going to write about? Suffering is unavoidable. And so what! Embrace it, for it will pass. Author Toni Morrison, Nobel prize for literature, urges us not to settle for happiness, because it’s not good enough. She said that Jefferson should have written in the Constitution the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of meaningfulness, or integrity, or truth.
The happiest people I know are those who have a meaningful life, even if it is stressful, those who care for others and for the world, and who follow the calling of the heart. Caring for others is cheaper than therapy. It makes a lot of sense, and you get to meet nice people. So I instead of worrying too much about yourselves, worry about others.
Love is a natural renewable resource. Like hydroponics it grows with just a little water and light. Abundance of love: that’s the key to joy.
So, my blessing for you is this: may you have an interesting life, may you get up quickly when you stumble and fall, may you be equally open to joy than to suffering, may you love and be loved passionately.
And my request for you, young people, is this: Live with decency and honor. Don’t you change to fit in the world, change the world to fit you! "