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課程來源:MIT
     

 

Sal Khan為2012年麻省理工學院畢業生演講

Sal Khan 2012 Commencement Speech at MIT

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Sal Khan

2012年6月8日演講

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講(來源PCWorld .com

網路教育家及企業家Sal Khan於2012年麻省理工學院畢業演講中告訴畢業生,能發展出造福社會之創新工具的並非政府,而是未來的科學家和科技人才。

 

關於Sal Khan(來源Wikipedia

Sal Khan(生於1976年10月11日)是美國教育家、企業家和前避險基金分析師。他是Khan學院-免費網路教學平台和非營利組織-創始人。在家中的小辦公室裡,Khan製作了超過3000部包含各門學科的教學影片,主要是數學和科學。截至2012年9月,Khan學院在YouTube的頻道已吸引40萬名訂閱者。Sal Khan於2012年榮獲《時代雜誌》全球100名最有影響力人物提名。

 

Sal Khan為2012年麻省理工學院畢業生演講

 

很榮幸向大家介紹今天的畢業典禮演講者-網路教學事業創始者、Khan學院創辦人-Sal Khan。

 

Sal在麻省理工學院(MIT)取得三個學位:數學學士學位、電子工程及計算機科學學士和碩士學位,亦取得哈佛大學工商管理碩士學位。Sal原本的職業是避險基金分析師,但幾年後,他十分偶然地發現自己真正想從事的事業。藉由拍攝教學影片幫助姪子學習數學,他發現自己擁有教學天賦和能夠奉獻給世界的一份大禮。藉由建立網路圖書館,提供大量免費短片,讓人們瞭解從幾何到國內生產總值(GDP)等各種領域的知識。目前YouTube的Khan學院頻道擁有超過33萬名訂閱者,提供一億五千六百萬多部教學影片,為數百萬名學生提供解答疑惑的管道。因為這項革命性的網路教學實驗,2012年Sal Khan榮獲《時代雜誌》全球100名最有影響力人物提名。今天並非Sal第一次在Kilian廣場講台上發表畢業演講,因為他曾經擔任班長,容我引用1998年Sal對同屆畢業生演講時所說的話:「我們將改變世界,這並非誇大之言。」已完成這項任務的他,今天來此參加我們的盛典。女士先生們,歡迎Sal Khan。(掌聲)

 

十分榮幸今天能來到這裡。其中原因很多,正如剛剛介紹的,顯然MIT對我的人生有舉足輕重的影響,但我認為這個影響遠超過大多數人的想像。或許有些人記得,1990年代末期正值網際網路興起,初期關於網路教學的討論很多。當時關於網路教學的討論和現在並無太大區別,多半在於如何從中獲利、藉此賺錢,有些機構則思考如何對抗這股潮流,或至少作壁上觀,窺視情況如何發展。突然間,MIT於2001年加入這場混戰,開辦了MIT開放式課程,將一向被高等教育機構高牆隔絕的知識和資源,分文不取地讓全世界自由分享。MIT不曾考慮如何從中牟利,而是宣稱「有些事比牟利更重要」。如果能讓無數人隨時擁有取得知識的機會,我們願意盡力提供資源。

 

當時我剛從大學畢業沒幾年,在舊金山一間科技公司任職,完全沒想過我的職業生涯將轉換到目前這個領域。但是-當我看見這則報導時,感到前所未有的鼓舞,從未如此自豪身為MIT的一份子。坦白說,幾年後,當我為姪子錄製的影片顯然擁有除了我姪子以外的觀眾時,有人說,喔,這可以成為一項商業工具。當時我在矽谷工作,利益正是這個環境追求的目標。我任職於一家避險基金公司,一種唯利是圖的組織,但我一直記得第一次看到MIT開放式課程報導時的感覺,這讓我清楚地意識到,Khan學院可以成為什麼樣的機構。它可以成為每個人都能參與的機構,超越利益和商業的考量。

 

我所說的不僅是和Khan學院有關的概念,也包含另一個層次的觀點。最近經常聽見許多大學和機構強調倫理和道德教育的重要性,將這些觀念灌輸在課程中,希望學生善加研讀。但MIT將這個觀念付諸行動,MIT以實際行動展現這個觀點。它確實將原則置於利益之上,持續不斷地進行。目前,MIT與哈佛聯手打造EdX開放式課程計畫,持續不斷地將它發揚光大,這令我充滿敬畏,感覺就像生活在一本描繪未來教育遠景的科幻小說中。

 

但我和MIT的淵源不僅於此。顯然我畢業於這所學校,但-我妻子也是MIT 2001年畢業生;Khan學院的院長兼營運總監是大一時和我同住Next House宿舍的室友-第343號房,你們當中或許有人也住過這間寢室。Khan學院董事會其中一位成員是MIT校友,他的妻子也是MIT校友。這只是我所認識的MIT校友中少數幾個例子,但也許更令人驚訝的是,事實上,我所認識的MIT校友有90 % 彼此結為連理(笑聲)。如果你們曾經擁有這種於同一個地方孕育出的愛情,我認為你們應該會覺得這就像那些無止盡的長廊一樣浪漫。(笑聲)

 

我在MIT見過許多極為登對的伴侶,令我經常懷疑這個地方或許是DARPA(美國國防部先進研究計畫局)資助的某種生物培育計畫試驗基地(笑聲),有人知道我在說什麼。但還有一些更簡單的解釋,我認為最明顯的解釋,至少對我來說最明顯的是-本校的招生辦公室,包括大學部和研究所,似乎存在某種不健全的偏見,只允許魅力十足的人入學(笑聲)。不客氣(歡呼聲)(掌聲),我知道這句話肯定會大受歡迎。但我認為不僅於此。就我記憶所及,我曾經對每一位願意聆聽的人說,MIT是世界上最像霍格華茲魔法學院的地方,哈利.波特的魔法學校。這所學校孕育的想法、研究和科學是現實世界中最接近魔法的事物,對校外的人來說幾乎就像魔法,這些教職員是這個時代最頂尖的魔法師!(笑聲)就像鄧不利多(歡呼聲)(掌聲),鄧不利多和麥教授。我想Hockfield校長應該像麥教授。(笑聲)

 

本校的建築物中隱藏著秘密通道和隧道,每一個角落都有千奇百怪的魔法物體和生物,其中一些或許十年內就會完成他們的研究主題(笑聲),也許在座聽眾當中就有一些。我們身處的Kilian廣場彷彿是一座聖殿,當你觀察四周,可以看見牛頓、達爾文、伽利略和阿基米德等名字,他們是歷史上最偉大的魔法師,提醒我們必須將古老的傳統和藝術傳承下去。在過去的歷史中,甚至現今社會中,這些古老的智慧仍在一定程度上遭受無知力量的中傷或打壓,儘管如此,依然難掩其耀眼的光芒。至少在我心目中,它們正是促成人類進步的主要原因。

 

來到這裡的人們、來到這裡的學生、在座的各位!來自世界各地、擁有不同生活背景的年輕人,各個不同領域的佼佼者,前來追尋孕育於此的魔法;有些來自生活富裕、教育程度良好的家庭;有些來自貧困家庭,家族中不曾有人取得大學學位;有些來自天賦備受鼓勵與支持的環境;有些來自必須隱藏本身之熱情與天賦的環境,懼怕會因此而顯得與眾不同。但他們來到這裡,期盼此處或許是能讓他們大展鴻圖的地方,讓他們能探索世界,讓他們能一窺宇宙奧秘、解開萬物之謎。

 

我認為MIT正是能提供這一切的地方。它開拓了我們的視野,更與眾不同的是,它鞭策我們前進。我確實認為MIT對學生的要求,或許比世上任何學術機構更加嚴格,但當你通過這些考驗後,將更上一層樓,你將真正瞭解自己的能力。我認為這也造成了另一層影響-讓MIT成為充滿愛的大家庭。這裡的人們不在乎外表這種膚淺的事物,不在乎彼此來自何處,不在乎彼此的背景,但他們都擁有瞭解宇宙奧秘的共同渴望,他們都擁有促進人類進步的共同渴望。你將他們聚集到像MIT這樣的大家庭,在競爭如此激烈的環境裡驅使他們前進。大家一起哭泣、一起歡笑、一起遲到、一起徹夜不眠、一起在校園裡遊蕩,這創造出最深厚的聯繫,就像曾經並肩作戰的士兵。他們擁有共同的經歷,那是其他人無法理解、甚至無法瞭解的感覺。因此,你們和其他MIT人之間將擁有一生都剪不斷的聯繫。你們將樂於和MIT人相處,你們將在人群中一眼認出他們。若你身處在某個團體中,當你聽見某個非MIT人談論某件事絕無可能、某件事多麼艱苦、多麼困難時,你將會在人群中搜尋其他MIT人的身影,彼此交換眼神,露出心照不宣的笑容(笑聲)。當你們相視而笑時,如果情投意合,你將會看見對方眼裡閃耀著某種火花(笑聲),意識到自己無法抗拒地被吸引了。(笑聲)

 

因此,來到這裡就像來到一個大家庭,一個我深愛和牽掛的家,我希望讓即將踏出校門的你們瞭解自己擁有的潛力。14年前,當我在自己的畢業典禮上談論這些時,一切都只是紙上談兵。但現在,我目睹同學和校友們的成就實在令人驚嘆不已,我希望藉此給予你們一些內在力量和幸福感,不僅是因為我關心你們,也因為我希望你們成為幸福的人。但我確信,為了發揮最大的潛力,你們必須專心致志且擁有明確目標-當你們遭遇困難時。

 

你們可以對我所說一切持保留態度,我比在座各位大不了幾歲,你們不妨把我當成兄長或堂兄等等。我想說的是-有些事我仍不斷地嘗試,但尚未達成目標,我並不比在座任何人完美,但只要是能力所及之事,我總會設法將它做到完美。首先得保持令人難以置信、甚至自欺欺人的正面態度。有時現實世界確實令人感到憤世嫉俗,這種憤世嫉俗會消耗你的能量、磨損你的潛力,為了與它抗衡,你應該隨時保持微笑。你應該將微笑當成每天起床後的第一件事,你甚至應該強迫自己微笑,我確實會這麼做。心情不好時,我會強迫自己擠出一個微笑,它會讓大腦釋放某種物質,你應該讓嘴巴、眼睛、臉龐和全身都展露微笑,對眼中所見的所有事物微笑。你應該告訴自己,籬笆這一側的小草更綠,即使有1 % 的機率並非如此。只要說服自己相信這一點,這將會成為一個自我實現的預言。

 

如果有朝一日,你和某個一向尊敬的人發生爭執,一位你十分在乎的人,儘管需要一段時間,儘管並不容易做到,但試著放下自我,珍惜彼此曾經擁有的美好關係,如果可能,摒除餘怒未消時在驕傲和自尊驅使下產生的念頭,採取相反的做法。如果你有能力做到這一點,當你即將說出最後一句爭論、即將說出某種報復性或充滿惡意的言語時,請就此打住,什麼也別說,試著給對方一個超級大的擁抱,領悟到得失不過是人生中的家常便飯。當事情發生時,難過也好,快樂也罷,但請保持宏觀的態度。這些都只是愚蠢的爭執,相對於真正重要的事來說,例如健康、人際關係。盡可能試著讓人們感受你用心傾聽他們的話語。我想告訴大家一個秘密,最能讓人感受到你用心傾聽的方式就是真正去傾聽(笑聲)。當你感受到壓力時,人生不免經歷壓力時期,只要抬頭仰望夜空,想像宇宙的浩瀚和久遠、恒星之間的遙遠距離,其他M級行星上的眾生也正仰望夜空、思索共同的經歷、文明的歷程,這會使你的視野稍微開闊些。如果可以,到樹林裡散個步,暫時忘掉自己的姓名、身份、野心,即使是微不足道的瞬間,認清自己真正的角色,不過是另一隻在樹林裡漫步的動物、不過是另一隻哺乳動物,意識到或許你並不明白為何生存於世,但你很享受這趟旅程。喜愛周遭一切事物的奧秘,想進行更深入的探索,盡可能地-這並不是一件容易的事,也是我並未完全做到的事-但我盡力嘗試,試著設身處地看待每一個人。

 

我經常進行一個思想實驗,讓自己進入這種心理狀態。這只是一個思想實驗,和真正的信仰無關。想像時間並非一條單行道,你可以回到過去等等,來生的你可以轉世為他人;你可以回到過去,轉世為任何人,因此你可以成為在座任何人。在這個精神框架裡想像,你來生可以成為某個人,你可以回到過去,成為現在正跟你交談的人,也許成為現在正和你爭論的人、或你正在批評的人。如果是這種情形,那麼你在來生就不得不容忍現在這個理直氣壯的你(笑聲)。

 

因此,我想以另一個我很喜歡的思想實驗來作為總結,它能幫助我將精力集中在需要的地方。想像50年後的自己,你們大概70出頭,差不多該退休了(笑聲)。嘿!喔!喔!非常好!(笑聲)如果你們覺得很難想像的話,這裡有一些範例。想像2062年,你們坐在沙發上,剛看完Kardashian總統發表的國情報告(笑聲)。你們開始回憶自己的一生,開始回憶自己畢生的豐功偉業;事業上的成功、家庭上的成功、曾經擁有的美好回憶,但你也開始回憶那些希望自己曾經稍微改變做法的事,那些令你後悔的事。我可以想像是哪些事:你希望花更多時間陪孩子,你希望更常告訴另一半自己多麼愛他,你希望花更多時間陪伴父母,告訴父母你多麼感激他們-在他們去世之前。當你陷入回憶時,一個精靈突然現身,精靈說,「我聽見了你的悔恨,你看起來是個好人,如果你願意,我可以再給你一次機會。」因此你說,「我願意。」精靈手指一彈,你眨眨眼,當你睜開眼睛時,發現自己就在這裡-2012年6月8日的Kilian廣場,某個瘋子正在發表畢業演講。你驚呼,「喔,天哪!」我現在20出頭,再次擁有健康矯健的身體,再次和同學們齊聚一堂,精靈沒騙我,我擁有第二次機會,我可以再次經歷之前所有的成功和冒險,但現在我可以讓一切變得更好。當我見到當年的同學、當我在畢業典禮上擁抱他們時,我可以將他們抱得更緊一些,我可以讓他們知道我多麼在乎他們;我的父母依然健在,我終於可以告訴父母我多麼感激他們,我終於可以給他們更多擁抱、更多時間。我可以做任何事,盡情歡笑、盡情歡唱、盡情跳舞,我可以為周遭人群奉獻更多正面能量,造福更多人。

 

我十分榮幸擔任你們的畢業典禮演講者,存在於此處的潛力令我充滿敬畏。存在於這個時空的潛力、存在於這個時空的變革-積極的變革-不再由將軍和政客引領,而是由你們這樣的創新者引領。在這個時空裡見到你們這些未來的魔法師,我十分期待你們未來的成就。謝謝。(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

Future scientists and technology professionals, not governments, will develop the innovations that most benefit society, online educator entrepreneur Sal Khan told MIT's 2012 graduates during his commencement speech Friday.
 
About Sal Khan
Sal Khan (born October 11, 1976) is an American educator, entrepreneur, and former hedge fund analyst. He is the founder of the Khan Academy, a free online education platform and nonprofit organization. From a small office in his home, Khan has produced over 3,000 videos elucidating a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and the sciences. As of September 2012, the Khan Academy channel on YouTube attracted 400,000 subscribers.In 2012, Time named Salman Khan in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
 
Transcripts
It is truly a deep honor to be here at MIT. Not only did I spend some of the best years of my life here, but it has proven to continue to define my life in countless ways.
 
Many of you may not remember, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many corporations and universities were exploring how they could profit or protect themselves from online education. Then MIT stepped in the mix and launched MIT OpenCourseWare. As powerful as the offering had the potential to be, MIT's rationale for it was even more powerful. MIT was implicitly saying that some things are more important than profit or any strategic concerns. Even if it would cost the Institute potential revenues, MIT had the moral clarity to realize that if it could give access to knowledge to people around the world for free, it should and would. 
 
I was busy working at a startup in San Francisco when the announcement came out in 2001. I had no idea then that my own life-adventure would be so closely linked, but when MIT had announced OpenCourseWare, I never felt prouder or more inspired by where I had gone to school. When others were exploring what was profitable or how to defend their existing offerings or just watched from the sidelines, MIT had the moral clarity and boldness to just do what it thought was right. 
 
Many universities aspire to teach their students ethics; but nothing is more powerful than when they lead by example. This in no small way inspired what has now become the Khan Academy. And now, MIT has once again put principle over profit by spearheading edX with Harvard. For this and many, many other reasons, I am honored to come here and thank the institution that I love so much for reminding me through its actions what is most important.   
 
But MIT has also affected me on a more personal level. Many of my very closest friends are alumni. My wife went to MIT. The president of Khan Academy was my freshman year roommate in Next House (Room 343). His wife went to MIT. One of our board members went to MIT. His wife went to MIT. 
 
Of our many close friends from MIT, 90 percent are married to each other.
 
Now, I think this many friendships and marriages coming out of one place, as romantic as the Infinite Corridor may be, begs some introspection.
 
In fact, so extreme is the coupling that I have observed here that I have sometimes suspected that this whole place is just a front for a DARPA-funded human breeding project.
 
However, there are simpler explanations for all of this MIT-MIT love. The most likely of which is that the admissions office here has a somewhat unhealthy habit of only accepting incredibly attractive people. 
 
But I think it also goes still deeper than that. 
 
I always tell people that MIT is the closest thing to being Hogwarts — Harry Potter’s wizarding school — in real life. 
 
The science and innovation that occurs here looks no different than pure magic to most of the world. The faculty here are the real-world McGonagalls — that’s you President Hockfield — and Dumbledores. There are secret tunnels and passages with strange wonders and creatures around every corner — some of whom may just finish their thesis this decade. The names of history’s great wizards surround us here in Killian Court — from Aristotle to Galileo, Newton to Darwin. They remind us that we have inherited an ancient art. One that, despite being vilified or suppressed by forces of ignorance throughout history, is the prime cause of human progress and well-being. 
 
Also like Hogwarts, MIT brings young people from around the country and world who are a little bit off-the-charts in their potential for this “magic.” Some come from environments and communities that celebrated their gifts. Others had to actively hide their abilities and passions for fear of being ostracized and ridiculed. Students come to MIT from every religion, every ethnicity. Some from educated, affluent families, others from ones that live at or near poverty. But they — you, we — shared a common passion. Something that made us feel a little different. We sensed that MIT might be a place where there were others like us. Where we could challenge ourselves and develop our craft. 
 
More than, I believe, any institution, MIT attracts and admits this type of creative raw potential, these young people with unusual gifts, with the desire to and ability to push all of humanity forward. 
 
And more than any other institution, MIT pushes these incredible young people to realize what they are capable of. 
 
This is a place where students with perfect SAT scores and genius level IQs can and will fail exams. A place where students who may have been the brightest student in their school, state or country often feel mediocre and stressed. A place where sleep regularly takes a back seat to the intellectual intensity of the curriculum. 
 
But this intensity is what forges deep bonds, honesty and compassion. You have laughed together, comforted each other, procrastinated together and cried together. You have been with each other at your best and worst moments. Like soldiers who have fought alongside each other, you have shared experiences that the rest of the world may not understand or even comprehend. 
 
Because of this, whenever you see another MIT graduate the rest of your life, you know that you have a past in common. That you both have secret powers that you often keep hidden from regular view. Regardless of how different your pre-MIT backgrounds may have been, you will feel deeply connected — like people meeting from a long lost village or family or galaxy. You will actively seek other MIT people out. When others talk about an intellectually challenging experience they had or complain about how hard they had to work, you will glance at the other MIT grad in the room and share a quick smirk.
 
And if you are the preferred gender for each other, then you also might just realize that they have a certain twinkle in the eye. A certain beauty to the tilt of their head when they are deep in thought. Their competence and expertise makes you wonder what type of civilization you could create together. In short, you discover that you find them irresistibly attractive.
 
So coming here, I really feel like I have come to my roots. That I am surrounded by an incredibly good-looking family that I am deeply connected to and that I care deeply about.
 
Many of you will soon enter the outside world and be somewhat taken aback. It will be far less efficient, far less fair, far less productive, and far more political than what you may have imagined it to be. There will be pessimism and cynicism everywhere. It is easy to succumb to this, to become cynical or negative yourself. If you do, you with the potential that you have, it would be a loss for yourself and for humanity. 
 
To fight these forces of negativity, to increase the net positivity in the world, to optimize the happiness of yourself and the people you love, here are some tips and tools that I like to return to. I am not too much older than most of you, so take all of this with a large grain of salt.
 
Start every morning with a smile — even a forced one — it will make you happier. Replace the words “I have to” with “I get to” in your vocabulary. Smile with your mouth, your eyes, your ears, your face, your body at every living thing you see. Be a source of energy and optimism. Surround yourself with people that make you better. Realize or even rationalize that the grass is truly greener on your side of the fence. Just the belief that it is becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
 
View stressful, political interactions as nothing more than a deeply immersive strategy game. One that can be won if you stay focused on what matters most and your emotions and ego are not tied to your argument. 
 
If you find yourself arguing with someone whom you respect and love, try to surrender your own ego to the shared identity you have with that person. In the heat of an argument, do the opposite of what your pride tells you to do. If you have the self-control, stop talking and give your opponent a random, intense minute-long hug.
 
Make people feel that you care about them. And here’s, a well, a little secret, the best way to do this is to actually care about them.
 
Make people feel that you are listening to them. Another little secret, the best way to do this is to actually listen.
 
When you gain or lose material things, remember how silly they really are. How little they mean relative to your health and relationships.
 
When you feel stressed, look up at the night sky and ponder the distance to the next star and the age of the universe. Think of all the other stressed sentient creatures from other star systems and galaxies looking out in the vastness of space in wonder and awe and take comfort in your shared experience. 
 
When you feel overwhelmed, walk alone through the woods and forget your name, your title, your education and view yourself for what you really are — another mammal wondering why it is here but appreciating the fact that your civilization has not as yet been evaporated by a supernova. 
 
Try to build true empathy. Regardless of your actual spiritual beliefs, it is sometimes helpful to imagine that time is not linear; that in past or future, or I guess parallel life, you literally are, have been or will be every person. That after this life, you will go back in time and be reincarnated as the person you are arguing with, or passing judgment on (and will then have to put up with the current version of you). 
 
Remember that real success is maximizing your internally derived happiness. It will not come from external status or money or praise. It will come from a feeling of contribution. A feeling that you are using your gifts in the best way possible.  
 
Also remember that whom you choose as a life partner is a far more important decision than what career you choose to pursue. If you are lucky enough to have a true equal, someone who fills you with joy and emotional contentment, with whom you have deep shared values, who respects you and loves you for your innate you-ness; no superficial, external failure or conflict can faze you. 
 
But keep in mind that if you care about someone, but not enough to commit to them, the most selfish thing you can do is not let them move on.
 
Money is important for the basic necessities, and even luxuries, of life. All of you will be able to buy expensive fruit and go to Sea World whenever you want to. Beyond that, and many of you will go far beyond that, money is a command over resources — including people — and should be viewed as a serious responsibility. 
 
Like money, status can be a powerful tool. But they can both distort your reality away from true internal groundedness. 
 
One of my roommates when I was two years out of college, who had formerly been a bit of a track star at MIT, and I had finished watching Chariots of Fire one night at 2 a.m. I told him that it made me feel like running. He simply told me “Don’t waste inspiration.” I reminded him that it is 2 a.m. He said “so what; don’t waste inspiration.” I looked at him for a few seconds and realized that he was dead serious. I jumped off the couch, threw on my running shoes and took to the streets. 
 
If you ever feel inspired, take action with it. Don’t let anyone tell you why you shouldn’t; at least lace up and give it a try. 
 
On a similar vain, inertia, pride or fear should never be the reason why you close your mind to opportunity. 
 
Most of my own life, I thought I had to choose between a safe route and the adventurous. When I was your age, I was a bit skeptical of speeches like this. I thought, sure, the guy at the podium can talk about changing the world, but what about my student loans, what about my family that has worked so hard to get me here. What about all the people who pursued their dreams and failed? Wouldn’t it be selfish of me to give up the secure path for the long shot at the audacious?
 
I can’t say this to any group of young people, but for those of you graduating today, I believe that you can have both: security and adventure. Bread on the table while taking your shots at the moon. 
 
We’re at a unique point in history. Where what once required many people spending many years and many millions can now be done by a small group of inspired people from a dorm room, or in my case, a bedroom closet. Ideas can be proven before they need to be committed to. The revolutions of our generation — in business, education, social structure and even politics — are not being catalyzed by generals or politicians, but by highly empowered individuals like yourselves — the wizards of our time so speak — who can see with clarity how the assumptions of previous generations no longer apply. And the revolutions often grow out of nothing more than an intense hobby, an inspired attempt of seeing if things can be rethought a little better.
 
So go forth with your careers, but leave space for your passions. Remember that you are much, much more than a title or a bank account. You are dancers and poets, inventors and athletes, musicians and innovators. If you give your passions room to breathe, you might find that is all they need to help you move the dial forward for everyone. 
 
And this isn’t just a commencement speaker trying to make you feel good or take weight off your shoulders. This is another member of your species who knows how badly the world needs you. Who knows that MIT graduates, like a tall person who learns to slouch to not stand out, sometimes undersell who they are, even to themselves. I am, in fact, putting weight on your shoulders because I know how scarce and important a resource you are.  
 
So with all that said, let me leave you with a thought experiment I use to help keep my priorities in check.
 
Imagine yourself in 50 years. You’re in your early 70s, near the end of your career. You’re sitting on your couch, having just watched the State of the Union holographic address by President Kardashian.
 
You begin to ponder your life. The career successes, how you’ve been able to provide for your family. You’ll think of all the great moments with your family and friends. But then you start to think about all of the things you wished you had done just a little differently, your regrets. I can guess at what they might be.
 
Sitting in 2062, you wish that you had spent more time with your children. That you had told your spouse how much you loved them more frequently. That you could have even one more chance to hug your parents and tell them how much you appreciate them before they passed. That you could have smiled more, laughed more, danced more and created more. That you better used the gifts you were given to empower others and make the world better.
 
Just as you’re thinking this, a genie appears from nowhere and says, “I have been eavesdropping on your regrets. They are valid ones. I can tell you are a good person so I am willing to give you a second chance if you really want one.” You say “Sure” and the genie snaps his fingers.
 
All of a sudden you find yourself right where you are sitting today. It is June 8, 2012, at Killian Court. You are in your shockingly fit and pain-free 20-something body and begin to realize that it has really happened. You really do have the chance to do it over again. To have the same career successes and deep relationships. But, now you can optimize. You can laugh more, dance more and love more. Your parents are here again so it is your chance to love them like you wished you had done the first time. You can be the source of positivity that you wished you had been the first time around.
 
So now I stand here, once again deeply honored to be here. Excited by what you, the MIT class of 2012 — both undergrads and graduate students — the young wizards of our time — a time like no other in human history — will do with your second chance.

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