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A Comparison of Two Commencement Speeches Essay

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Graduating from school is only one of the essential tools for a young person to have a successful life. A person endures many long years of schooling, and then the graduation day finally arrives. That special day is one of the most momentous days in a young student’s life. Happiness and sadness are the two emotions a person will feel on that special day. A student will experience happiness because of a significant milestone that was completed in the student’s life. The sad emotions will arise because of a terrifying new chapter in the book of life that is about to begin. Both Bradley Whitford and His Holiness the Dalai Lama give their commencement speeches by using humor to relax the mood of the crowd, making light of their fame, and…show more content…
Next, both of the speakers incorporate their fame to try and get a meaningful message across to the young people before going out into the real world. Being famous does not mean that you are a perfect person without flaws, and fame takes hard work and dedication. Whitford talks about why in the world, the college would “opt instead for a glorified circus clown from a television show” (1). By poking fun at himself and not acting superior, he is letting the audience know that everyone is equal. Whitford establishes a common ground with the students, and it makes the students feel comfortable listening to his words and advice. Whitford talks about how he only has “two areas of expertise-reproduction and acting” (2). That means that all people have an area in their lives where they can be considered an expert. The Dalai Lama expresses to the students that he will “try and speak directly through broken English” (1). Immediately that tells the graduating class that the Dalai Lama is not perfect, and he has to work hard for his place in society. His English was not perfect, but he essentially told the students with courage anything is possible. Some people look up to famous people, but both speakers try and establish themselves as ordinary people trying to find success in their lives. Incorporating their faults into the speeches lets the graduates know that it takes dedication and hard work to achieve success. Even imperfect people can have what it takes to find a job that
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