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High School Teacher Gives Tough Love Graduation Speech: Are You Exceptional or Just Like Everyone Else?

News 2012/06/11 13:00:00
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Usually, graduation speeches encourage grads to charge into the world with their chins held high, that diploma proudly tucked under their arm. You've graduated college; you're exceptional; it's time to make something of yourself. But that's not exactly how David McCullough Jr.'s speech went when the English teacher spoke at Wellesley High's commencement this year. On the contrary. He told graduates they're just like everyone else, and the controversial message immediately went viral.

McCullough said, "You are not special. You are not exceptional ... Even if you're one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you ... You've been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble wrapped ... We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement ... The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you're not special. Because everyone is." What do you think of the tough love speech?

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Top Opinion

  • El Prez 2012/06/11 17:21:45
    I'm exceptional!
    El Prez
    +10
    Because I have spent the better part of my life making sure that I am exceptional. However, by the standards set by Mr. McCullough, I am not unique. Unique is rare, exceptional is more easily attained. The later day inclination to give trophys for participation, praise all miltary personel as heros and in general dilute real achievment and heroism, has created something of a feeling of special priviledge among some of our youth. The "tough love" speech might be useful so long as the message of carrying on to find your exceptional character is contained within. He was trying to wake them to the truth and that is always good.

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Opinions

  • Anna 2012/06/12 04:39:05
    I'm exceptional!
    Anna
    Just like everyone else.
  • redhorse29 2012/06/12 04:28:57
    I guess I'm just like everyone else...
    redhorse29
    +1
    That is until the day or moment I do something exceptional. Then I will return to the realm of those that are very good at what they do but not required to be exceptional.
  • Crimson 2012/06/12 04:09:16
    I'm exceptional!
    Crimson
    +1
    I'm going to give him a round of applause.



    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iGW...
  • VICTORIA 2012/06/12 04:06:43
    I'm exceptional!
    VICTORIA
    +1
    It is so funny that the 2/3rds majority of Conservatives think that they themselves are NOT exceptional- yet right this very moment have posts screaming about how exceptional America is and how much they hate Bill Maher for saying the EXACT SAME THING!!!!!!!!

    O, the irony! The hypocrisy!

    Please! Make up your tiny MINDS on this issue!
  • Common ... VICTORIA 2012/06/12 04:49:50
    Common Sense Conservative
    +3
    America is exceptional. Unless you're a liberal and hate it.
  • VICTORIA Common ... 2012/06/12 05:59:26
    VICTORIA
    Add
    Except when it comes to American Exceptionalism.
  • beach bum 2012/06/12 03:57:07
    I guess I'm just like everyone else...
    beach bum
    +1
    like everyone else
  • Party Boy [A7X Bat] 2012/06/12 03:49:12
    I guess I'm just like everyone else...
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +3
    It's about god damn time someone stopped sugarcoating life!
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/12 04:07:41
    VICTORIA
    Does that apply to American exceptionalism?
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/12 21:53:43
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/13 03:10:52
    VICTORIA
    In my experience= the very many opportunities I've had to become rich- all involved selling my soul out in a way that I wasn't willing to do.
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/13 03:58:08
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/13 04:12:00
    VICTORIA
    Sounds like about most of the GOP supporters right about now-
    Stockholm syndrome.
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/14 05:25:52
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +1
    You'd think them being not rich would make them more liberal.
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/15 01:43:45
    VICTORIA
    They're like abused wives who apologize for their abused husbands- thinking deep down- but they love me!
    They don't.
    They also seem to have the same low self esteem issues- if they only work harder- they'd deserve to be rich too.
    Rich people, in their world, are inherently better.
    It's just incredibly sad.
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/15 04:44:03
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +1
    Take away all their money and the confidence goes with it. They're completely helpless.
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/15 04:50:33
    VICTORIA
    In these cases,(the cloth coat republicans who serve their corporate masters) their money has already been taken. Or never even given in the first place.
    So they hold out some distant hope of riches in the future- and in the present- hate and resent and envy and have a shameful joy in the poverty of those they imagine are in competition with them for their pennies.
    And so hate and want to destroy people on the same uneven plain.

    Crabs in a freaking bucket.
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/16 05:43:05
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +1
    Funny, sounds a lot like North Korea, except the indoctrination is completely insane there.
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/21 03:39:21
    VICTORIA
    I've got pages here of 2 jaded characters trying to convince me that there is no such thing as 'selflessness' in the world.
    http://www.sodahead.com/unite...
    it's sad.
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/21 17:46:13
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +1
    That is really sad. I, for one, do believe selflessness exists, it's just rare. Which is also sad.
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/22 03:08:31
    VICTORIA
    I know it does- and I'm not speaking for my self- nor trumpeting any personal qualities- but I've seen it- in others- long and consistent- and so life affirming and humanity hopeful-
    And all the more precious for it's rarity.

    I learned so very long ago- that it's a waste of time and energy to appeal to consciences that just aren't there- to compassion that is alien and unfamiliar to the recipient.

    The person I really feel sorry for- is the mother of that kid-
    so what if her motives aren't "purely" selfless? (In his warped views).
    They probably were for years- if he appreciated her love- she wouldn't have to ever remind him.
    A shame.
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/22 07:37:11
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +1
    PRECISELY!!! I can't believe it, another person who's beliefs in human selflessness mirror my own!
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/14 05:26:45
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/15 01:44:32
    VICTORIA
    Or terrified into it.
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/15 04:45:21
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +1
    Sad, but oh so true. Notice how closed-minded jerks are rarely friends with people who are not closed-minded jerks.
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/16 04:18:55
    VICTORIA
    I think the long posts below all dedicated to hatred of me., personally- can attest to that!

    I happen to be having a conversation here right now- with a person who insists that selflessness does not exit.

    It is sad.
    http://www.sodahead.com/unite...
  • Party B... VICTORIA 2012/06/16 05:45:09
    Party Boy [A7X Bat]
    +1
    Indeed it is. This person wouldn't know selflessness if it walked up and gave them $100.
  • VICTORIA Party B... 2012/06/21 03:40:21
    VICTORIA
    Lol- I see I already posted that- it IS sad- they're still on it.
    (Their posts precede these)
  • rightside 2012/06/12 03:40:47
    I guess I'm just like everyone else...
    rightside
    +4
    Sounds better than most. Their parents have taught them that they are the most important kid in the world and have given them everything they want. Now they hit the real world and finally someone is being honest with them. Good for this guy.
  • VICTORIA rightside 2012/06/12 04:07:52
    VICTORIA
    Does that apply to American exceptionalism?
  • Common ... VICTORIA 2012/06/12 04:50:41
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    Does that apply to American exceptionalism?
  • VICTORIA Common ... 2012/06/12 05:05:14
    VICTORIA
    Stop trolling and harassing me.
  • Common ... VICTORIA 2012/06/12 05:14:55
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    Trolling?

    Harassing?
  • DavidK Common ... 2012/06/12 05:44:39
    DavidK
    +3
    she's a loser........... don't waste too much time with her or she'll block you too.
  • Common ... DavidK 2012/06/12 06:17:54 (edited)
    Common Sense Conservative
    +1
    It might be a blessing if she did.

    Please tell me what you think I said was abusive.
    Please tell me where I showed sympathy for a rapist
    Please tell me where I showed antipathy for a rape victim.
  • Common ... DavidK 2012/06/12 21:18:57
    Common Sense Conservative
    Now she says I'm abusive. This is comedy.
  • DavidK Common ... 2012/06/14 03:23:34
    DavidK
    +1
    she's an x mudshark and found out why she shouldn't have been so gullible. Not to mention a "wanna-be" Muslim. And of course a "victim". No matter how you roll the dice, she's a waste of space.
  • Common ... DavidK 2012/06/14 19:37:23
    Common Sense Conservative
    I couldn't agree more. Anyone that wants sympathy for something that should have been reported to the police but didn't has issues.
  • DavidK Common ... 2012/06/14 23:46:56
    DavidK
    +1
    It turned her into a "libtard".
  • Common ... DavidK 2012/06/15 02:54:43
    Common Sense Conservative
    I think you're right

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