Commencement speeches offer advice on overcoming life’s obstacles
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