I stumbled across a beautiful little book during my weekly visit to the book shop.
Many commencement addresses have received widespread attention. Steve Jobs’ speech at Stanford with his iconic “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” ending is probably the most famous example. Joanne K. Rowling and Australian comedian Tim Minchkin also delivered speeches which went viral on the various video platforms.
My favorite address of them all however is delivered by Neil Gaiman, one of the most imaginative writers around. Speaking to the students of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, he talks about his own struggles and how to get through them, inspiring the young students to keep on dreaming.
The value of dreaming in our society is vastly underestimated as many make the decision to choose security over freedom. But it is in dreams where new ideas and ultimately our future take shape. So pursuing them is key to progress. Mr. Gaiman captures the spirit of pursuing one big goal (the mountain as he calls it) and of being determined and working towards it. His speech offers sound advice to the youth of today, especially about enjoying the fruits of your labor. All in all, it succeeds in being deeply motivational and inspiring.
The tiny book is beautifully designed by the graphic artist Chip Kidd. The reader is forced to use his mind, because some pages are written from bottom to top or just filled with one word. His design fits the words perfectly and only underlines the strong message Mr. Gaiman intends to send.
The first sentence of the book sums it up best: “This book is for anybody who is looking around and thinking: now what?”
You can watch the commencement address here:
Have a great Wednesday!