Post-80s Questionnaire

30 June 2010

Chairman Song, Distinguished Council Members and faculty, Parents, Friends of STU and Graduates:

On behalf of the board of trustees, I would like to welcome all of you to this celebration of our graduates, who worked hard to earn their place here on this special day.  We share in your excitement as you enter a new phase in life. Once again, congratulations to you all.

My dear graduates, do you know, like you, I could also be referred to as “After 80’s”, and I wish to take a more interactive approach with you today:

By raise of hands, how many feel that your years here at Shantou have been well spent and helped you lay a foundation for success? Do you have the vigor of mind, strength and agility of body and everything essential to undertake your aspirations and goals?

How many of you believe that you are not merely a ‘survivor’, but will thrive in this treacherous world and be able to ascend to the heights you aspire ?

How many believe there is still much left to learn? How many of you know what holds you back?

Now let me make this a little more profound, perhaps a bit more complex: how many of you are certain that you will always be true to yourself and will refuse to be self-delusional and believe that shortcuts is ‘the way’? We all know that to wish is insufficient ; without aspirations, planning and orderly execution , an overly anxious drive for success will only make us succumb to fatigue of the mind, body and will.
The answers to our quest for personal happiness and fulfillment are not necessarily found in textbooks.  They come as affirmative experiences when we engage in behavior that resonates within our soul — filling emptiness with meaning, turning challenges and setbacks into strength, experience and progress.
Do you have enough confidence? Enough resilience? Are you prepared to handle and overcome what life may throw at you time and again? Are you willing to trust yourself?  When the world shifts under your feet and the rules change, will you make and stay with the right choice, to grow ever stronger in face of adversities?
Because you know what it means to shoulder responsibilities, are you determined and committed to safeguard all that is true and fair to bring about a better world? The ability to choose is a blessing. Will you cherish it? Will you have patience when leading, be a mentor and friend to those who need you? Will you have the grace to give back, to your community, your country and your fellowmen? The world is not only somewhere out there, but in the enduring values within your heart.
And now my final questions: Do you understand the essence of appreciation? Are you ready to express your gratitude to your parents and teachers, to those who have walked with you, guided and supported you thus far?  Are you touched and moved by what they have selflessly given you?
As I prepared for this speech, some of my colleagues suggested that I should inject a famous quote here to strengthen its tone, I didn’t necessarily agree to that. Inspirational quotes can be useful and an important reservoirs for renewal, but the catalyst for a true and living philosophy will only come alive through distillation of your belief.  If you live your life to its truest and fullest, be committed, joyous and filled with integrity, who but you will be tomorrow’s success stories, outstanding achievers and a beacon to others. You will be our roaring thunder, you will be our inspiration. Today, you are proud to be part of Shantou University; tomorrow, Shantou University will be proud to be a part of you. Thank you and good luck.