U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts recently gave the commencement address at a private boarding school. While his audience necessarily was comprised exclusively of the privileged, his address–admirably–gave advice to the graduates designed to help them question their privilege.
Here is an excerpt from the address:
From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal, because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.
Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted.
I wish you bad luck—again, from time to time—so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved, either.
And when you lose, as you will, from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure as a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you will be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others. And I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.
Chief Justice Roberts went on to tell the graduates that they were privileged to attend the school, but that his advice was “don’t act like it.”
This article links to a video of the speech and to an LA Times article about the speech.