Over breakfast a few days ago, I was reading a fairly boring newspaper article that I probably didn’t really understand, when my father placed a sheet of paper on top of the article, and said: "Read this instead!" So I did. As my family stressed around in the kitchen, I read Steve Jobs’ speech at the 2005 Commencement at Stanford University. I suppose this text is old news by now, having circled the net for a while, but I’m putting a link to it right here, mainly for my non-blogging friends.
You should read it because it is very well written. It’s almost poetic in a way you wouldn’t expect a commencement speech to get away with without turning mushy. If we allow ourselves some prejudice, it is also surprisingly poetic from someone it would be easy to dismiss as pure computer geek. This speech is good for shaking off such prejudices: it shows a genuine love of learning, rather than of gathering grades; it suggests that a guy wandering around a college campus returning bottles for cash, could be pretty smart; it proves how seemingly worthless knowledge might come to amazingly good use. Above all: it gives valuable life lessons without sounding as pretentious as the very phrase "valuable life lessons" does. Enjoy.