David McCullough defends the ‘you’re not special' speech he gave at Wellesley High School last week. The English teacher addresses the current ‘everyone is special’ plague that is not helping students, parents or employers.
Last week, we wrote about an English teacher named David McCullough who gave an unusual commencement speech for students graduating from his Wellesley, Mass., high school. It has become known on the Internet as the “you’re not special” speech because that’s one of the main tips McCullough passed along to the class of 2012.
“And now you’ve conquered high school,” he said, “and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building... But do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not.”
Yesterday, McCullough (son of the famed historian of the same name) went on television to defend his message.
“My intention was a little hyperbolic drollness to get their attention so they would be paying attention by the end when I told them what I really wanted,” McCullough told CBS news.
Indeed, check out some of McCullough’s closing words:
“Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion – and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special. Because everyone is.”