While McCullough tells students they are not special, the speech ends up at the usual place: Do good. Do well. Do something. The road to that ending is paved with great lines, including, “The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots roller skate on Youtube.”
"The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you're not special. Because everyone is."
What do you think of this speech? Is he justified in admonishing students for considering themselves special? Or do you believe young people should hear straight talk such as this more often? I'd be interested to know your opinion.