One more word. The ‘Great War’ has not ended. Don’t think that you have had the luck to miss it. It is for each of you that the war goes on within ourselves for self-mastery. Those robes you wear to-day are you Khaki for that war. Your graduation day is your first stripe. Go out and fight.” (Page 20-21)
These words belong to J.M. Barrie, delivered in 1930 when addressing Edinburgh University as Chancellor. Although I graduated from University a few years ago I can still relate to this speech. It’s amazing how 83 years later his message is still strong, like he has discovered some universal truth.
I’m using his words as a mantra, as a reminder that pain is part of life and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you embrace it, the better chance you have at surviving and living an entrancing life. His words will remind me to fight against anything that tries to tear me to pieces. They will reminf me to fight for the person I am and the person I want to become.
If you read his entire speech you’ll better understand the significance of what he’s trying to say. He talks about life as a play with three Acts. He talks about how we’re all in the Second Act of our life (the longest Act beginning just after graduation), the Act that doesn’t necessarily flow perfectly into the third. It is in the Second Act that you define who you are, where you figure out if you’re going to let in the bad or let in the good, where YOU experience a lot of pain (if you’re lucky), and where you (hopefully) learn how to deal with it.
Here’s to the Second Act — break a leg 😉