Monday, June 4, 2012

The Chumbawamba Principle

Robert Krulwich gave a commencement address at the College of the Atlantic called The Chumbawamba Principle.  The title comes from the song "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba.  (I like the song, and I like the band.)  The song says, "I get knocked down, but I get up again.  You're never gonna keep me down."  Krulwich is saying that you just have to keep trying, that the way we grow and find the life we want is to just keep fumbling onward.

Some of the parts I liked best: 
Designing yourself isn't like being a conqueror. It's not Genghis Khan screaming "Charge!" thundering across the steppes, seizing his prize — no. It's more like you are nearsighted. You like salty snacks, and one day, fumbling along, you knock over a pretzel dish and think, "What's this?" You take a bite and think, "Hmmm! Do I like pretzels?"

It's more like that.

Accidents happen. The trick is to know when you've gotten lucky. To say, "I do," to the pretzel. This works for jobs. Works for girls. Works for most things....

the designing never ends.

The job you choose at first, the man or woman you choose at first, the friends you choose at first, they can change....

You don't become yourself by yourself. You become you, boosted on others' shoulders, buoyed by others' smiles.

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