'We do not need magic to transform our wold; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already'
In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now, due to popular demand, the most-viewed commencement speech on Harvards website is published for the first time in book form. In Very Good Lives, J.K. Rowling asks the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?
Drawing from stories of her own postgraduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of lifes most important issues with acuity and emotional force.
Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust said, I have heard and read many commencement speeches, none more moving and memorable than J.K. Rowlings. Years after her visit to Harvard, people still talk about itand still find inspiration in her singular evocation of the idea that living a meaningful life so often means daring to risk failure. What a powerful example she embodies, and what a remarkable gift her speech was, and is, for all of us privileged to hear it thenand to read it now.
As well as contributing toward university-wide financial aid at Harvard University, sales of Very Good Lives will benefit Lumos, a non-profit international childrens organization founded by J.K. Rowling, which works to end the institutionalization of children around the world.
J.K. Rowling said about the charity:
Lumos is a spell I created in Harry Potter that brings light to a desperately dark and frightening place. At Lumos this is just what we do: we reveal the hidden children locked away behind closed doors in institutions and forgotten by the world, so that everyone first of all understands the problem and then works together to fix it. It is my dream that within our lifetime, the very idea of institutionalising children will seem to belong to a cruel fictional world.