Com­mence­ment speeches of­fer ad­vice on over­com­ing life’s ob­sta­cles

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING zhaoxiny­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ev­ery sum­mer, as mil­lions of uni­ver­sity stu­dents grad­u­ate, the spot­light falls on com­mence­ment speeches de­liv­ered by col­lege pres­i­dents.

Ob­servers are of­ten cu­ri­ous how the lead­ers of such in­sti­tu­tions will seize the fi­nal op­por­tu­nity to pass on their wis­dom to the young minds they have helped nur­ture be­fore they head into the world.

Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity, one of China’s best, held its grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony for the class of 2017 on Tues­day, with more than 3,000 stu­dents ob­tain­ing bach­e­lor’s de­grees.

At the com­mence­ment, Lin Jian­hua, the uni­ver­sity’s pres­i­dent, cited his own ex­pe­ri­ence and told the grad­u­ates to ac­cept the un­change­able, have the guts to change sit­u­a­tions that can be al­tered, and have the wis­dom to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two.

Lin had an op­por­tu­nity to be rec­om­mended for a uni­ver­sity when he was work­ing at a farm in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion four decades ago dur­ing the “cul­tural rev­o­lu­tion” (1966-76).

But for rea­sons un­known to him, he lost the op­por­tu­nity and another per­son was rec­om­mended.

“It was hard to face the re­al­ity and it took a long time for me to get over it. But when I fi­nally did, I got more than I ex­pected,” he re­called, ad­ding that he took the na­tional col­lege en­trance exam the fol­low­ing year and was ad­mit­ted to Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity — a bet­ter col­lege than the uni­ver­sity he missed out on.

“Life is full of sur­prises,” Lin told the grad­u­ates. “Ev­ery­one will en­counter un­bear­able sit-

A Short His­tory of Chi­nese Phi­los­o­phy, a clas­sic work by Feng Youlan, a late pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy at the uni­ver­sity.

“I hope that by read­ing the book, you are able to see Chi­nese cul­ture from a mod­ern

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