While most graduation talks give platitudes like, “Good luck!” and “Wish you the best!”, US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts went a different route.

“You are privileged young men….Don’t act like it.”

His son, Jack, attends Cardigan Mountain School, an all-boys boarding school for grades six through nine. As the boys are preparing to move on to their next stage of schooling – most likely with girls around now – they jumped on the opportunity to have the Chief Justice of the United States do the commencement address.

I don’t think anyone expected the speech that he gave.

He spoke gently but managed to remind the boys that, although they live a charmed life, it’s not always that way.

The justice also encouraged students to not just settle for being themselves and to always try to be better.

But the strongest takeaway seems to be this section:

From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly so that you will come to know the value of justice.
I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.
Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.
I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.
And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.
I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.
Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.

Filed under: graduation, Politics