Alert: This post contains heady talk of souls and purpose and life. You may proceed, or not.
In 2005, the late David Foster Wallace gave a commencement speech at Kenyon College. In it, he gives students a perspective on adulthood that puts a great number of truths in illustrious context—things that even enlightened people might not have grasped about their homes, jobs, recreations and souls.
It may feel hippy dippy, and some of it does exist on an extra-terrestrial level, but even that is addressed. It’s a smart enough piece of writing to know what you’re thinking about it, and to answer your doubts before you can verbalize them. Wallace—who, it’s ironically contradictory to mention here, killed himself three years later—goes out on a limb to tell these college graduates, poised on the perch of the future, to consider that life might actually be about something more obvious than you thought.
For Wallace, for this semester’s fresh new graduates, and for all the rest of us navigating our beautiful, challenging, impossible, incredible world, this is a salient reminder that our real freedom—that which belongs to our souls and not a document—is a choice.
Have a great weekend. :)