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Agameya: On DFW

David Foster Wallace was one of the most prominent postmodern writers in the history of the world. His quite infamous book Infinite Jest has been pegged as one of the most complex reads out there requiring complete and utter attention to the prolonged pages of various intertwined stories. But what however stands out the most about DFW is none other than his commencement speech at Kenyon College where he takes a phenomenon not unlived by working adults and turns it into a potent life lesson for those awaiting to embark on real life.


DFW proclaims in his speech that we all have the ability, in tough and interesting situations we face, to choose. We have a choice to witness a messy, hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars, as so he describes it. He believes that being well educated means possessing that ability to think. For example, if you're on the freeway and some guy passes you swerving left and right. Your first response will probably be anger and frustration at someone who’s breaking the rules and not abiding by the law. But if you stop to think for just one second that there may indeed be an emergency and that the situation is not entirely as it seems, then you’ll know you have other options.


Choice is always at the grasp of those who are willing and eager enough to entertain it. Being on one’s natural default setting will veer one into pompous and entitled facets that will surely result in a net negative. Exercising the hard but virtuous paradigm of selecting different belief systems to navigate life through is not only useful, but mandatory. Because when one is knee deep in the rat race, one will be met with all sorts of inconvenient situations that's outcome will all depend on how one chooses to see things.


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