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Friday, December 03, 2021

‘Don’t confuse success with excellence’: Ken Burns

"Do not descend too deeply into specialism either. Educate all of your parts. You will be healthier. Free yourselves from the limitations of the binary world. It is just a tool. A means, not an end," he said.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
October 20, 2021 8:20:30 am
"Insist on heroes. And be one," he stated. (Source: Stanford/YouTube)

“Let me speak directly to the graduating class. Watch out. Here comes the advice. Look. I am the father of four daughters. If someone tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted, take it seriously. And listen to them! Maybe, some day, we will make the survivor’s eloquent statement as important as Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Try not to make the other wrong, as I just did with that ‘presumptive’ nominee. Be for something. Be curious, not cool. Feed your soul, too. Every day,” documentary filmmaker Ken Burns said at Stanford University.

“Remember, insecurity makes liars of us all. Not just presidential candidates. Don’t confuse success with excellence. The poet Robert Penn Warren once told me that ‘careerism is death.'” he stated.

“Do not descend too deeply into specialism either. Educate all of your parts. You will be healthier. Free yourselves from the limitations of the binary world. It is just a tool. A means, not an end. Seek out – and have – mentors. Listen to them. The late theatrical director Tyrone Guthrie once said, ‘We are looking for ideas large enough to be afraid of again.’ Embrace those new ideas. Bite off more than you can chew. Travel. Do not get stuck in one place. Visit our national parks. Their sheer majesty may remind you of your own ‘atomic insignificance,’ as one observer noted, but in the inscrutable ways of Nature, you will feel larger, inspirited, just as the egotist in our midst is diminished by his or her self-regard. Insist on heroes. And be one,” he stated.

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