Sunday, December 20, 2009


"Success is the American Dream we can keep dreaming because most people in most places, including 30 million of ourselves, live wide awake in the terrible reality of poverty.  No, I do not wish you success.  I don't even want to talk about it.  I want to talk about failure.
Because you are human beings you are going to meet failure.  You are going to meet disappointment, injustice, betrayal, and irreparable loss.  You will find you're weak when you thought yourself strong.  You'll work for possessions and then find they possess you.  You will find yourself - as I know you already have - in dark places, alone and afraid.
What I hope for you, for all of my sisters and daughters, brothers and sons, is that you will be able to live there, in the dark place  To live in the place that our rationalizing culture of success denies."

Ursula K. LeGuin
from a commencement speech at Mills College, May 22, 1983

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