David Foster Wallace at Kenyon, 2005
"There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship."
David Foster Wallace, author of "Infinite Jest," delivered a timeless commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005. With touches of the macabre, the speech rang true, if not for graduates on the cusp of shiny new lives, then certainly for their parents.
"There happen to be whole large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. Once such part involves boredom, routine and petty frustration," Wallace said, describing a resentful stop at a crowded grocery store after work for illustration.
While Wallace's speech started as a downer, it ended on notes of transcendent grace, because he pointed out, you get to choose how you'll respond to life's frustrations and pettiness.