Best Commencement Address I've Heard

Guy standing at the top of the mountain in the sunsetBy far the best commencement address I heard this year was by a student at Indiana University who stutters. His name is Parker Mantell. He acknowledged that he was not the most gifted speaker or most qualified person in the room to address his fellow graduates. Despite his sometimes halting speech, he challenged them to do what is possible even though the world will remind them of their limitations and often doubt their abilities.

Parker urged his fellow graduates to do more and become more, not because it will be easy but because it will be hard. He told them don’t ask “why me” but rather ask “why not me.” He encouraged them by saying "do what others doubt you can do because of what they see as your limited abilities or talent." He reminded them that Beethoven was deaf, Ray Charles was blind, Einstein was dyslexic and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was unable to walk because of polio.

This inspiring young man’s encouragement to his fellow students was a reminder to each of us that we must dare to achieve our purpose. We must stop believing those who cast doubt and instead, believe in ourselves.

No truer words were ever spoken than when he said:
“Doubt has killed more dreams than failure ever will.”

In order to truly live a successful life we must master our doubts and our fears. I commend this young college graduate for reminding us to accomplish our purpose in life.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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