How to get a life - Photo by Tilo Schüßler / pixelio

How to get a life: David Foster Wallace – “This is Water”

Photo by Tilo Schüßler / pixelio

What is the center of my world? It’s me! No, I wouldn’t say that if you would stand in front of me and I actually like you. But honestly, why do you have to drive so slowly in front of me with all the other blind people? Why does EVERYONE buy his stuff just now in the overcrowded supermarket? Why do I always stand in the slowest queue? Everyone seems to have fun making my life an annoying series of queues and traffic jams. And they don’t even know it, because they are so occupied with their own business. Egoists!

Okay I’m not always so aggressive towards you but if you listen deep inside the honest part of your soul, the above sentences are familiar. We all have this inner voice talking in such a way. But does it help? Certainly not. It just helps to raise frustration. So here is a challenge: As we are grown up and live freely, it’s up to you to change. It’s not easy, it will not fully succeed, but there is the chance to change your view fundamentally. (Footnote: Of course I didn’t manage it yet.)

Get an idea in this short film. It is David Foster Wallace’s speech at a University Graduation that became famous in his book “This is water” (If you don’t know it – get it. It’s a tiny book with big impact.)

When speaking about David Foster Wallace, it is inevitable to see his work in the light of his fate. He committed suicide in 2008, which is assumingly connected to his serious depression he suffered from for decades. His writings show a man who truly suffers from the world around him. Connected with his academic and emotional intelligence as well as highly sensitive instincts, he appears as he brought under the weight of society and its flaws. “This is water” is nevertheless an empowering speech, not lacking a good portion of sarcasm, which shows an astonishing wisdom about human nature, about us.

Take ten minutes to see yourself in another light and learn to appreciate the ones around you, not only those you like. David Foster Wallace tells how to get a life in his speech “This is water”: