Water Is Life

Sep 29, 2012 by

Paul Hawken’s 2009 Commencement Speech

  1. There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Mornin’ boys how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” –David Foster Wallace

    The late David Foster Wallace began his 2000. Kenyon College [commencement speech] with this little allegory. Commencement speeches are hopefully short, impactful and worthy of the ears of a group of graduates eager to receive their diplomas.

    In Paul Hawken’s commencement speech at the University of Portland he says, “What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.”

    So, what the hell is water? _what is collective humanity?_ and what do they have in common?


  2. Megan Drimal, MS

    water is life. collective humanity is a ripple. the quality of one determines the quality of the other, that’s all. or, we can say when life is disturbed, humanity is disturbed and likewise. we’ve countless generations of disturbance to mend…and we’re doing just that by digging deep. 🙂


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