Have you read or listened to J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech? You can do either here. I’ve read it, but I think I’ll play the recording while I prepare lunch today; I enjoyed the read, and I’d like to hear it in Rowling’s voice.
I pulled a couple of quotes from it that I especially like:
There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.
But what I liked best were her thoughts on imagination:
Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s minds, imagine themselves into other people’s places.
We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.
I think this explains why our world leaders should be readers. Readers exercise their imaginations and are better able to imagine Something Better. Maybe in addition to requiring that our President be born in the US, we should require our President to have read a certain number of books. And not just history books, economics books, and the like, silly books, fun books, books that stretch the imagination.