Source: Article published by the Harvard Magazine on Jun 5, 2008
Sharing the full breadth of wisdom behind author J. K. Rowling’s commencement speech for Harvard University’s graduating class, this article highlights how trials, adversity and a willingness to imagine have been the foundation for her philosophy and success. Famously known as author of the Harry Potter book series, as well as for her real-life rags-to-riches tale of overcoming hardship, Rowling, with genuine wit and humour, articulated at length about her humbling but inspiring experiences, beginning from her days as a student of classic literature to working in her 20s, with failure, expectations, friendships and responsibilities. Drawing from these experiences, the author compelled the audience to examine their own positions and roles in life, and to think of how each individual can make use of failure as a motivating step forward. Before closing, Rowling further inspires the audience by recollecting her experience working for Amnesty International, where, faced with the dangers of human malevolence and the possibilities of human empathy, she realised how imagination is a powerful instrument for understanding and sympathy.
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