October 7, 2021 8:20:52 am
At Barnard College, actor Viola Davis spoke with a zeal. “You are graduating from a school whose mission it is to not just hand you a diploma, but a sword. You either start wielding it or you put it away as a conversation piece. Because there is a cap to success. Now everybody tells you that’s what you got to hit, that’s the best of the best that you can have in life. And then you hit it and then comes disillusionment, exhaustion, isolation, the imposter syndrome and a loss of passion. Because no one talks about the real final cap, the real ceiling—and that’s significance,” she said.
“That living life for something bigger than yourself is a hero’s journey. That answer to your call, to adventure and journeying forth with mentors and allies, and facing your greatest fears, where you either die or your life as you know it will never be the same. And then you seize the sword, the insight, the treasure. The hero at that stage must put all celebrations aside to prepare for the final battle. The road back. The road back is the moment where the hero goes back to the ordinary world, where she must choose between her own personal objective and that of a higher cause. The reward? Your gift to the ordinary world?…That is the Holy Grail, the elixir,” she continued.
And then answered the question she had shared with them. “So with my hands up, what I’m saying is that on this day of your genesis, your leap, your commencement, your mark in your history, perhaps your elixir is simply this: that you can either leave something for people or you can leave something in people.