Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts recently gave a memorable speech at his son’s middle school graduation.
Here’s what he said in part:
“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, 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 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 that your opponent will gloat over your failure, as a way to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored, so you understand the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.”
Roberts told the graduates that they had just gotten through the easiest parts of their lives. And while the road ahead would not be as easy, it would be full of moments to learn from, he said. “Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen,” he said. “And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon the ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”
What do you think are the most important things that Judge Roberts says? Which of these experiences have you had? In what ways have you learned from these experiences? How have they made your character better?