Contrary to the sub-editor’s opinion, this commencement speech by Harry Potter author, J K Rowling seems to me to have very little to do with Buddhism, and a lot to do with honesty and fostering creativity. It’s probably one of the best speeches for an academic assembly I’ve ever read. I rather believe it is closer to being an advocacy of open source-style creative problem solving and the breaking down of barriers between people than any mystical journey to enlightenment. Indeed, I rather feel that Jo focuses on the possible in the context of her environs, rather than on seeking any ascetic revelation. In essence, this is a speech that should be enjoyed for its simplicity, its humour and its more profound message about what she calls the ‘burdens’ of opportunity – although perhaps it would be more accurate to describe them as the obligations of those opportunities.
Read. Enjoy. It’s a truly fabulous speech.