When U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts spoke at his son’s nineth grade graduation ceremony in June, he gave some unconventional advice about life that has now gone viral.
Roberts told the students at Cardigan Mountain School that the path to success is paved with failures and disappointments, and that being betrayed will help them to understand the importance of loyalty.
He said he wasn’t there to wish them luck. “From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted,” Roberts told the graduates.
The message sounded like a downer, but it was not. “I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either,” he continued.
“And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion,” Roberts said.
He told them he wasn’t just “wishing” for misfortunes in life – they will come anyway: “Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”
This, from Chief Justice John Roberts at his son’s graduation, is really beautiful. And unexpected. pic.twitter.com/OCF0iVjwu1
— H. Poteat (@NSQE) July 6, 2017
Watch his entire speech below. Justice Roberts takes the stage after his introduction, at about the 5:40 minute mark.
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