Tell us one of your failure stories.
Oh, brave young achievers, you have now achieved the pinnacle. And forgive me if it sounds cynical, but as we gather to celebrate you and hail you, it is time for you to think about the benefits of failure. Failure is essential, a form of mortality. Without failure, we have a poor sense of reality. It's all well and good to strive for glory, but today's grievous mistake is tomorrow's humorous story. And one should not be a person whose memoirs consist of notes from the classes you've never missed. Would the Prodigal Son's dad have killed the fatted calf if the boy had graduated with an average of 3.99 and a half? No. Nor would Job have grown so wise in the Lord's ways had his only tribulation been one or two Bs in a whole long string of As. In a nutshell, my advice is: go out and have a crisis.
Excerpt from Garrison Keilor's address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard University