This is Water

A speech given by David Foster Wallace at the 2005 Kenyon College commencement ceremony.

“Two young fish were swimming. They meet an older fish, going the other way.

– How is the water, boys? says the old fish

The young fish say nothing, and they move along.  After a while, one of them says:

– What the hell is water? ”

Truth, with a capital T. We need to go through the life of a grown-up  by choosing correctly what to think, and when. For example, at the grocery store, instead of being stressed about how there is a big line, and how we will get home later than intended –  we can instead use that time to make plans, to think about the upcoming birthdays and what presents to buy –  or any other productive thoughts.

Life as a grown-up is not easy. But we may choose what colors to see it in. So yes, maybe we can maintain the child in us.

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