Before I start my remarks, I'd like everyone just to do something for me. Very simply — so everyone can kind of just get to know everyone else — on the count of three, I'd like everyone to turn around and shake the hand of the person sitting right behind you. One, two, three —right now, everybody, please do that.
So, I guess you still have a few things to learn.
My parents cried when I left for California. Not because I was leaving, (but) rather, I think,because they were afraid I'd be coming back. Not one teacher I ever had in grade school, highschool or college would've believed that there was even the slightest chance that one day I would be asked to give the commencement address at a major university.
Many, given the opportunity, would've bet large sums of money against it, putting up their homes and children as collateral. Actually, I really like the idea of that, not because I'm vindictive — although in a few minutes I'm going to read the names of all the people in my life who never thought I would amount to anything — but because life should be unpredictable.And I'm very grateful that I never wasted any time trying to become somebody else's image of what I should be.