Shantou University Commencement Ceremony
Chairman Chen, Professor Shechtman, distinguished faculties, graduates, friends and families,
Summertime again and it is great to be here! Now that the crazy long nights for the finals are behind you, I trust everyone is breathing easy and feeling happier.
The bright summer sun lights up your future stage, like the phoenix of our STU emblem; your unfolding wings will carry you to meet every challenge in a lifetime of imagination and adventures.
Our trustees join me in extending our warmest congratulations to our graduates, “Well done“ and we thank you for sharing this profound moment with us.
Today, may I ask you to share your limelight and happiness with everyone who worked so hard to complete our new arena for our commencement ceremony today?
May I ask you to give another thunderous applause to show our deepest appreciation to the faculties and administrators for their dedication to serve, and their commitment to advancing reforms in higher education?
Doesn’t expressing gratitude to others feel wonderful? Mindfulness towards others is a powerful mind-set! It is important to the world because empathy supercharges the virtuous cycle of enriching, empowering, and ennobling.
In fact, I have always considered empathy to be the best investment grade reserve currency for humanity; its scale and liquidity impactful and imaginative, its strength and stability concrete, complete and certain.
You doubt the relevance of these rhetorical narratives?
Everyone knows that tangible qualities for empathy and compassion are easy to list out but hard to live out.
But trust me, don’t you dismiss it lightly. This mind-set is the key differentiation between a thriver and a survivor.
To you our young graduates, it matters because you will be judged by how well you excel in meeting the Triple Bottom Line – financial, environmental and social—the hallmark of success today and the leadership landscape of the future.
To the survivors, everything is an enigma; to the thrivers, there is always a way to decipher the growing lexicon of complexities.
Who are the thrivers?
Thrivers live out their inner quests, they never stop seeking better solutions for today. Thrivers also see themselves as an astute positive force, they take personal responsibility for their conducts and performances in contributing to and creating the future.
Thrivers are convergent thinkers who can identify the possibilities of nonlinear dynamics. They are mission driven and on their own volition; they dare to venture outside comfort zones and are forever on the lookout for knowledge and opportunities that would be relevant and useful.
Thrivers work incredibly harder and are intellectually more engaged.
Most importantly, peak thrivers believe that it is empathy that defines them. This dimension is coded into their kernel and is the central module of their personal operating system that is constantly optimising and synchronising their interpretations of the moment, enhancing their visualization clarity, managing their civility, their pace and their actions, and that regularly upgrades with new versions to grow and glow.
Only the thrivers know how to find the answer to Rabbi Hillel’s contemplation: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?”
Are you a thriver? I know you are. I know you will live your life to its truest, in duty, in dignity and joy.
Today, you are proud to be a part of Shantou University; tomorrow, Shantou University will be proud to be a part of you.
Thank you so much.