San Francisco Waldorf High School's Commencement Speech

Posted by Rahul Brown on Jun 17, 2013
9252 reads  
This Saturday, I gave the commencement address at the San Francisco Waldorf High School. Frankly, I'm not much of a public speaker and arrived fairly nervous and sleep-deprived. When delivering the speech, I jumbled the occasional word, had fluctuating audio levels, and had to pause more than once when I got choked up. Yet the topic of my talk was inner transformations that occurred along my personal journey, and that seemed to strike a deep chord beyond all the surface hiccups. I expect that speakers get compliments, but the volume and caliber of comments was unexpected. The school administrator said he was very moved and asked for a transcript, so I gave him the copy I read from :-) A number of parents were effusive in their gratitude, telling me that the message was exactly what their graduating senior-- and they themselves-- needed to hear. At least three different people claimed to be 'graduation speech buffs' and separately told me that this speech was the best they had ever heard or read-- to which I thought that they had clearly never heard one of Nipun's speeches :-) Perhaps the deepest compliment came from a 'class sponsor' who was moving on from her role after 20 years of service. She told me that she considered the ceremony her commencement as well and later wrote, "As I sit on this cusp of life change, your words were just what I needed to hear, to help me enter this unknown area with new possibility and hope and not fall into another cultural trap of fear and scarcity." She asked for references to other sources that could help guide her ongoing journey, and of course I pointed her toward the ecosystem :-) Transcript of my talk is here.

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Comments (5)

  • Vinya Sankaran Vasu wrote ...

    Deep bows to your beautiful spirit :).

  • Bela Shah wrote ...

    thank you for sharing such powerful insights and stories Rahul...

  • Bill Miller wrote ...

    Good going Rahul - and thanks for posting the transcript!

  • Sheetal Sanghvi wrote ...

    Beautiful thoughts.. Thank you for doing what you do!

  • Steve Brown wrote ...

    Namaste!

    I am glad the school has had wisdom to choose such a talk for the new graduates. Rahul did great service for giving this message to the graduates.

    As all know American culture teaches fierce competition, and greed is not considered a bad thing. Even within a company or Gov. employees are set to compete with each other. Their computers have SharePoint software, but it is not used much. Some make a lot of money, but do not know how to use it. Rahul has shared the Eastern wisdom how to look at money and how to use it.

    Goswami Tulasidas, a well known devotee of Rama and author of Ramacharitmanas, has sung:

    "seva dharam kaThina jaga jaanaa."

    Meaning: The seva dharma is difficult for the worldly people.

    It needs some desire to advancement spiritually to engage in seva.

    Bhagavaan Sri Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that seva is also of three kinds: in the mode of goodness, passion, or ignorance.

    Another Indian devotee of God has sung:
    "neki kar, dariyaa me daal."

    Meaning: Do good, and forget that you did it. This is seva in the mode of goodness (to the right person (or org.) at tight time, and with right attitude.)

    I wish Rahul's message touch millions of young hearts.

    jai sri Krishna!
    -sb