J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement

J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. (via http://harvardmagazine.com)

Add yours Comments – 24

  • Héctor Conte

    on February 19, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Wonderful inspirational video!

    I truly believe that imagination, is a way of changing the world, by changing ourselves. Without imagination, we would not see beyond what our own eyes can see. It’s actually more important than knowledge itself. Imagination leads to creation.

    • 3tesla

      on February 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      > Imagination leads to creation.

      Yes, indeed; but as JKR alluded to: ‘imagination’ can be harnessed for good or for evil. It strikes me that her time at AI contributed greatly to her appreciation of the struggle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in humanity, and thus enriched the themes of her (most excellent) Harry Potter books.

      • Héctor Conte

        on February 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm

        I believe that what she pointed to with the concept of ‘imagination’, after sharing her experience at AI, is more like James Hall says, has an inspirational purpose to help you go on, even if the circumstances you are living are not the best of all.
        And even if we look at the world of her books we see that, it is full of this bad circumstances (in the end the books presents a war scenery) and from there, we can see that those who chose to use imagination as an inspiration -both sides- , are those who fought, for themselves, and for the others. Is in that sense, I believe that Imagination leads to creation, creation of the future you want to see, the future you want to live.

        • 3tesla

          on February 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

          Many thanks for your insightful and hope-filled thoughts, Héctor!

          > Imagination leads to creation, creation of the future you want to see, the
          > future you want to live.

          I, too, believe that the creativity of love will triumph over the ‘creativity’ of hate in the end, as the former only ever builds up whereas the latter ultimately tears down.

  • alex

    on February 19, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Imagination sets our inner soul free, it opens our minds and it breaks that wall that doesn’t allow us to see beyond time and space. I, for one, can’t live without imagination.

    P.S. Have you seen “Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story”? It’s a good biographic movie.

  • Kendra

    on February 19, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I’ve got to carve out a little time to watch it today. Thanks for the link, Allison.

  • James Hall

    on February 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Thus, it is imagination that shows us that indeed, the boundaries between us are mere illusion. It gives us fresh perspectives, and inspiration to go out and serve mankind in whatever capacities that we can muster.

  • 3tesla

    on February 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    A very thought-provoking address, from a humble and deep-thinking human being – thanks for sharing!

  • Luilui09

    on February 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    This is so great! I can’t believe that everytime I check for something new in this page of you Allison, you gave me an answer, a light or an advice that make me stronger and i can open my mind and eyes to take important decision in this crazy point in my life. Thank you!! and please never stop sharing this stuff. xoxo from Venezuela

  • Beth

    on February 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    What a fantastic speech!
    Imagination is so important. Without it we could not create and evolve and grow and create more.

    You continue to open my eyes more every time I visit this blog.

    Thank you 🙂

  • Paige Porter

    on February 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Love this speech. Love her. Thank you for posting the link Allison.
    But it bothers me that some of the seniors complained that she was the one to give the speech. A world famous author that has managed to get people to fall in love with reading speaks at your graduation and you complain?

  • HomelyPoet

    on February 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Sounds like JR’s pensive Docents were quite a bit older than Your’s.

  • Twistedbutnormal

    on February 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I doubt allison even responds to any comments on here let alone actually write anything. Probably her p.r. person.

    • Héctor Conte

      on February 24, 2012 at 5:33 am

      I can’t say without any doubt that Allison Mack is the person that writes what is in this site; but I do believe that, and so do you and anybody else asking this question, because, in some point, you’ll get to think, does it matter?
      Something we can say about the person or group who writes this, is that is the same since it started, and that his/her/their view of the world can, and will change it for good.
      So, does it necessarily need Allison Mack to be the one who answers?

      • James Hall

        on February 24, 2012 at 7:09 am

        Excuse me, but if Allison is using a ghost writer, what a brilliant (and cheap) strategy it is to have them post only once in a while!

        • Héctor Conte

          on February 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

          Hi James! I didn’t meant to say that Allison wasn’t the one who writes on this site, actually quite the opposite – read the second line from my first answer -.

          I just wanted to put and end to the people asking if this was the real Allison Mack writing, and start appreciating the wonderful tool that this site is; and, of course don’t want to see this becoming a site full of spam.

          Some of this people just want to talk to Allison – well, actually I think most of us have got here for that reason – but for that matter, you have both twitter and facebook accounts – and perhaps You Tube too -.

          I think we all have to realize that Allison didn’t created this place to communicate, she created this to express herself.


    • Zsolti

      on February 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      A private blog is like an online diary, filled with lot of personal tailored feelings and experiences. It’s quiet, private, and unique, which aren’t made by a PR firm. So we can reach tiny pieces from our favourite artist’s inspirational life and we have a chance to post comments too. It’s the best way to understand each other. Hey, it’s phenomenal!

  • James Hall

    on February 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

    There was a time when she posted daily on this site.

  • Roy

    on March 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    thanks for posting this….

  • Cholefan3167

    on March 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Allison, you would have made a good Harry potter chracter :0)

  • Juan Carlos

    on April 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Call me 55+11+51309091

  • Juan Carlos

    on April 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    me ligue 55+11+51309091

  • Sooofullofcraft

    on April 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Amazing & funny to boot.

  • Lelanie du Preez

    on May 8, 2012 at 7:35 am

    At a time when I am myself 21 years old I can relate to this speech in so many ways, being scared of failure held me back and now I have embraced it. Failing just closes a door and opens one for something new. This couldn’t have come at better time.