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June 30, 2009

Paul Hawken's Commencement Address

Paul Hawken's Commencement Address to the Class of 2009 at the University of Portland :: make sure you read the comments as well

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Comments (13)

I love when he said in his speech The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn't make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

Very well said.

Posted by: Alex at June 30, 2009 9:23 PM

I'm grateful that there is a transcript of this speech. Thanks for this, Ze.

Posted by: Marianne at June 30, 2009 10:07 PM

Oh if only you were attracted to older, YA authors. I love so much of what you do. :)

Posted by: Teri at July 1, 2009 1:31 AM

That was beautiful, thank you for sharing.

Its nice to know at least someone, somewhere understands what needs to be done.

"Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television."

Posted by: Courtenay at July 1, 2009 9:38 AM

"The living world is not "out there" somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes." ---fav para

my new bumper sticker:
skeptics question cynics give up
which one are you?

very nice speech, hard not to see his POV - we got the mad we even know what we're mad about, what we lack is organization.

so to anyone who read this... join a group, any group.
(I joined single payer action)

Call CSPAN show um how smart you are at 7AMEST Kudos to PST, you can even twitter them.

Call Congress, often. Choose a Bill and treat it like a hobby (my hobbies HR676 HR1207 S604)

Find something you can do without and give it up
(haven't shopped at a department store in over a year, easier than I thought)

doesn't have to be big just have to do something

Posted by: nader at July 1, 2009 2:10 PM

I enjoy this sentimental journey of graduation speakers that are now parading through the seasonal circuit. Just listening, I love the comradeship of well thought reason and diction.

Posted by: Alex at July 1, 2009 10:16 PM


Posted by: Paperotta at July 2, 2009 12:14 PM

Loved this: "Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television."

Thanks for sharing that, Ze. A co-worker/designer shared your blog with me this morning. I was ranting to him about a frustrating client and wanted to send what could have been a pissy email to her. Then he pointed me to your thing on communication skills and punctuation. Thanks much for the laugh. I feel better about this GREAT client of mine. :-)

Dave Aldrich

Posted by: Dave Aldrich at July 2, 2009 1:11 PM

dang... I missed the part where you said 'read the comments'... this points out to me again that I am easily caught up in the 'easy' positives and forget reality... avoid, avoid, avoid.
On the other hand - you have to have the hope and positivity to get anywhere - once you give up hope - well, I for one tend to give up. Hope may be a lot of hot air, but it's the hot air that makes the balloon rise.

Posted by: Marianne at July 2, 2009 3:33 PM

okay, I just found time to make sure I read the comments, too. Excellent reading!

Posted by: Paperotta at July 3, 2009 1:58 PM

After a discussion of that Emerson quote, Isaac Asimov wrote the novel "Nightfall" to answer the question of "What would happen if the stars only came out every 1000 years".

Anyone who hasn't read it, should =)

Posted by: CosmicDan at July 4, 2009 8:13 AM

Talking of joining groups, here's another project that Paul's behind: www.wiserearth.org. Take a look at be inspired at the work of the 110,000 organizations listed here who are making a difference in the world.

Posted by: Camilla Burg at July 6, 2009 1:11 PM

Magnificent address. Would that all commencement speeches follow his lead!

I saw Dirt! the Movie last night, and some of the same themes are touched on in that movie, which seems to be a distant cousin of Earth from the Air that you linked to a month or so ago.

We are all interconnected. The good news is that we can reverse the havoc and destruction we (collective "we") that we have imparted upon our spaceship. 10 years to return toxic soil back into a healthy productive organism that will return the favor many times over (provided we continue to holdup our end of the bargain). Everyone needs to do his/her part, contributing a little at a time. It all adds up.

Hawken's speech was crafted to reach a wide audience. Let's hope there are more links like this one to perpetuate goodness.

Posted by: gypsy sister at July 20, 2009 5:14 PM

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