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Ed Helms

    Cornell University | May 24, 2014

    When you try hard at everything you do, even if it feels utterly foolish to do so, you’re opening up future doors and possibilities that you might not be seeing in the moment.


    As you look ahead and ponder your lives after four years of extensive learning — having been taught by some of the greatest minds on the planet, studying late nights for endless exams and essays — please remember to be a fool.

    The world will tell you that it’s time to grow up and leave those foolish, youthful diversions behind. But don’t fall for that. I’m here to tell you those foolish diversions are the real nectar of life. Put up a fight. Be a fool.

    When you try hard at everything you do, even when it feels foolish to do so, you’re opening up doors and possibilities you might not be seen at the moment.

    I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them.

    [This] got me thinking: What are ‘the good ol’ days,’ when do they happen and why? I contend that good ol’ days are marked by relatively high levels of foolishness. Case in point: college. It’s one of the great incubators for foolishness.

    Read Ed Helms Best Graduation Speech at Knox College 2013