May 24, 2006

Apocalypse now?

Bill Moyers spoke at Hamilton College's Baccalaureate this year. I got to see Moyers speak during my senior year of high school -- while the details are almost entirely lost to my pathetic memory, I still remember how inspiring it was to hear someone of his generation tell a bunch of high schoolers that we would make a difference in the world, and it was up to us what kind of difference that would be.
From the Hamilton speech:

I would want to be told that while life includes a lot of luck, life is more than luck. It is sacrifice, study, and work; appointments kept, deadlines met, promises honored. I'd like to be told that it's okay to love your country right or wrong, but it's not right to be silent when your country is wrong. And I would like to be encouraged not to give up on the American experience. To remember that the same culture which produced the Ku Klux Klan, Tom DeLay and Abu Ghraib, also brought forth the Peace Corps, Martin Luther King and Hamilton College.

In many ways, I'm reminded of another inspirational speech. Like Emerson, Moyers deserves to go down in history as a great American public intellectual.

No comments: