When I first read “This is Water” by David Foster Wallace, it opened my eyes. I saw how the speech related directly to my life, and the ways Wallace’s ideas could help me in my daily living. This was a great speech giving to the graduating class of 2005 at Kenyon college, and may not seem like the average graduating speech. I wish my graduating class had this same speech to help us understand the reality of our daily typical lives. This speech really made realize the world we live in, and the ways people are destined to act. Wallace’s speech pointed out our natural default setting, one of being self-centered and how it relates to my life, giving there is a way to avoid our natural setting.
David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water” was a truly inspirational piece of writing talking about how a person can bring change to not only themselves, but to the community around them by simply choosing what to think. In his writing, “This is Water,” Wallace talks about the average adult life. He elaborates on the repetition and same old boring behaviors life brings across in our average days. Being stressed in a situation can lead us to think that we are the center of attention. In other words, Wallace relates it to the switch to our natural default setting. By having the “choice of what to think about,” we can switch gears and change our mood (Wallace). Wallace continues to highlight the importance of others and their well-being before ours, to avoid being self-centered.
Throughout Wallace’s speech, the point of how each individual worships something in their life rather its God, our body, or money has really caught my attention. This idea has really caused me to overlook my life and the decisions I make, and the right or wrong of the things I may worship. Wallace continues throughout his speech our self-centered view of life and could cause more focus on thinking before doing so we can all strive to help others before myself. After we stop thinking that we are the main importance, that everything revolves around us and we are the “absolute center of the universe,” we can then notice and appreciate the beauty in others around us (Wallace). A great point Wallace brings up in his speech is that we all have options, and we have full control of our actions, as well as what we think. These key points giving can make a huge difference in our daily lives as to our well-being.
In the movie Click, Adam Sandler lives most of his life by our natural default setting, or our act of being self-centered, portrayed by Wallace. Sandler’s lifestyle connects with ‘This is Water’ in multiple ways as he worships the universal remote. The universal remote gives him the opportunity to control every situation of his life, which is self-centered and leads to bad. In Wallace’s essay, we see the daily worships of the average human, and we witness daily how it can turn to bad. Click is a great demonstration to Wallace’s point as we see how our own ways can affect those around us, when the remote leads Adam Sandler to get carried away and ruin his life by fast forwarding all the bad situations in life. He later finds out that the remote can no longer change, and Sandler is stuck with fast forward mode on making him miss his daily life. Which goes back to the idea of our natural default setting, that we have a choice to make in the way we live our lives and we don’t have to be self-centered in every way.
Overall, this speech has heavily influenced my daily life allowing me to become a better person to those around me by carrying a positive attitude with me. In Wallace’s speech we all can understand the difficulty of staying away from our self-centered lifestyle, but sadly it may take a bad situation in life to help us realize the way we affect each other’s lives. Giving the idea that we have a choice to what we shall think about really motivates me into becoming a better person my loves ones and will hopefully inspire those around me to follow my motives.
Wallace, David Foster. “Kenyon Commencement Address.” “They Say/I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. New York: W. W. North, 2012. 198-201. Print