analysis: Fear of failure — William B Milam
Daily Times, February 4, 2009
Failure is a word that is, these days, closely associated with Pakistan. And that word, “failure”, is spoken out of fear. Americans, as well as most Westerners, perceive state failure as an increasing threat in Pakistan
By chance the other day, when reviewing some correspondence with a friend, I came across the internet link to the Harvard University commencement speech given last June by the celebrated author JK Rowling. Apart from the first Harry Potter movie, which I saw in the tow of my family when it first came out some years ago, I confess that I know little of Ms Rowling’s work. I have not read any of the seven very successful Harry Potter books she has published nor seen any of the subsequent movies.
What wisdom, I asked myself, could the author of children’s books, even those as wildly popular as hers, have to offer to the elite graduates of one of the most prestigious of our universities? After finding it on the net, listening to it and then reading it, I understood why my friend had recommended it. I have never read or heard a better commencement address, nor one more appropriate to our times. I only wish that the various commencement speeches I heard as a graduate or a parent had been half so intelligent or given such wise counsel to those going off to seek a place in the world.
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