Monday, May 7, 2018

Rod Serling's Inspiring Graduation Speech - 50 Years Ago

Have you ever watched Twilight Zone re-runs on TV? Serling, who wrote 92 of the 156 scripts, had a flair for the written word. Part of his childhood was spent in Binghamton, N.Y., where I attended college.  The influence of upstate New York is evident in a handful of his scripts.  Twenty five years after his own high school graduation, he returned to his alma mater to deliver one of the most inspiring and timeless speeches you'll ever read.

Excerpt from Binghamton High School Commencement Speech, 1968:

... always do the things that you believeDon't become monuments—sway with the wind. Change opinions, if the change is natural and believed. But believe in something and fight for those beliefs. Honor them by your commitment. Further them by your effort.
And what a wondrous and what an incredibly grand world you might build for your children.  Now this millennium may not be in sight, let alone in reach. The route to it may be pretty damned close to impassible.  It may be as distant and as complicated to reach as the moon or another solar system.  BUT IT IS THERE! It's there for the taking, the asking and the fighting. And the rhetorical question—are you tough enough—I think is already answered by simply the look of you and the feeling that's in the room.  Indeed, you're tough enough. And you're also human enough and sensitive enough and caring enough.

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