As graduation season is upon us, my usual reading outposts have been flooded with excerpts of commencement addresses, which, quite honestly, I generally ignore (much as I did at my own college graduation, nearly a freaking decade ago, ugh). However, as a recent Harry Potter reader, J.K. Rowling's 2008 Harvard commencement address caught my eye, and I read it all. Every word is wonderful, but the end, in particular, stood out:
. . . I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children’s godparents, the people to whom I’ve been able to turn in times of trouble, people who have been kind enough not to sue me when I took their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.
So today, I wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom:
As is a tale, so is life:
not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
In addition to all of my beloved college pals (who are, no doubt, in possession of many an embarrassing photo), these people at commencement that year are awesome and I think we would all get along famously.
And also these guys.