Stephen Colbert’s Commencement Speech


Now will saying “yes” get you in trouble at times? Will saying “yes” lead you to doing some foolish things? Yes it will. But don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”

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4 thoughts on “Stephen Colbert’s Commencement Speech

  1. Ummm yeah, and after I called you I felt like a retard. I also see it didn’t take you long to find my blog either. We need to catch up some time soon.

  2. “You may applaud my mother’s womb.” God, I love Colbert. And the stuff about improv and saying “yes” straddles a wonderful line between pretentious and profound. Actually, I thought it ended up pretty wise. I want to birth his race of super-babies!

  3. I have to say, I see why he did it. I was thinking about doing a mini-lesson on improv for a group of teachers, showing them how ideas of improv apply in the classroom.

    I think it’s becoming a more popular thing to compare improv to other aspects of life these days. I’ve heard that someone has published a marriage counseling book on it, about building a life together through yes-anding and making your partner look good and so forth.

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