Participate it in spite of failure│Barbara’s Yale Speech


Grandma’s story (文字版)

For the past few days, I have tried to instruct to you what I have learned from Barbara’s commencement speech. About passion, choice, and the value in your self.

Today I want to tell you the most impressive point I learned from Barbara, which is also the reason why I think I should pass this speech to you.

It all comes from the little story of Barbara’s family. One day, her grandmother Lily gathered all her children together and told them “I think I am still a virgin.”

All the children got confused, and said “how is that even possible?”

We are here, we are all your children. That means you must do something with Grandpa.

Lily answered “I did, but I never participated it.”


You see. We can spend a lot time, doing a lot of things, popping questions, giving comments, but still eventually, we may still get nothing, And feel like virgin.

I was struck by this story and think this may be the only solution to solve all the problems, and the doubts in our mind.

What is our passion? How do we choose? What value do we have?

Only after we really participate it, do we realize it is true or false. Is it right or wrong? Is it real or just a fantasy.

Participation here means that you must try something that you could possibly fail. Make your own choice that is not perfect. Take on all those challenges and difficulties, because that defines who you are.

Above all, you must participate all the relationship you really care. Because that’s where we find our value.

End of the first week

So here comes the end of our first commencement speech learning. I hope you really do learn something. And you may find more problems and questions than answers.

That’s normal.  If you need answers, no one can provide you anything. But still it is a good start to trigger the journey of your own.

So if I can choose one thing and tell you to remember that. I hope you can remember this:

Don’t be a virgin, don’t be a forever child, just participate it.





















你平常看書或者聽演講嗎? 你學到的東西,有沒有實際去運用的經驗呢? 歡迎分享。




As you heard a few years ago i wrote my memoir it was called audition , because to me life has been a continuous audition. And while writing the book I had to do some research on my family including my paternal grandmother Lilly, whom I had never met.

She was evidently a very elegant and fastidious woman and on her deathbed she turned to her seven children and told them that she was a virgin and they said well how is that possible we are here three sons and four daughters you must have done something with Grandpa.

And she said yes I did but I never participated

So when I was asked if I would come here today to talk with you. I said to myself these kids are smarter than I. And these kids are younger than I. And they are better educated but by god I am going to participate .

You know it’s a daunting task because I’m used to talking everyday on television usually with four other women who interrupt me all the time. So today it’s a great joy to be able to speak uninterruptedly that’s going to make the least bit of difference in your lives even 10 minutes from now


(1) 1129得到例會直播

(2) 快樂的第三元素│Notes of Lives

(3) 什麼才是有效的溝通?│Notes of Lives


What do you think?