British writer JK Rowling has created a special place among teenage readers around the world through the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The Harry Potter series books, translated into 67 languages of the world, set new sales records. While delivering a speech at Harvard University’s convocation, Rowling spoke of this fantasy.
Addressing the convocation is indeed a big responsibility. When I was invited to address you, I first remembered the days when I was studying in college myself. Two things came to my mind. First, the advantages of defeat and second, the importance of fantasies in life. Today when I look back, I think what an uncomfortable experience it was. My dreams were different and my parents’ expectations were different. It was a duel. They wanted me to do a good job studying and writing, so that my future is safe. I wanted to write a novel. My parents felt that I would get nothing by drowning in fantasies.
Not their fault
I never blamed my parents for my career or studies. Your biggest responsibility is regarding education and career. My parents lived their lives in poverty, so they did not want me to live in poverty. They wanted my better and secure future. Obviously, poverty creates a kind of fear in you. You feel stressed and frustrated about the future. Poverty means a life full of problems and suffering. In such a situation, my parents expected me to study and write and choose a permanent career so that I would never fall into poverty. He was right in his place.
Fear of defeat
To be honest, at my age I was afraid of failure, not poverty. During college days, I often spent my time writing stories. Despite this, I used to pass the college examinations. At that time, the measure of success for me was to pass the exam. I am not saying that you are young, educated and affluent, then it means that you do not have difficulties. You may not be familiar with the failure, but you will definitely worry about victory and defeat. You have to decide what defeat means to you. People will try to impose defeat-winning standards on you in their own way. It is about the time when my marriage was broken and I was unemployed. I was all alone, I had the responsibility of a daughter. I did not have my own house to live. Then I felt that I was facing the biggest defeat of my life.
Benefits of defeat
You will ask what kind of benefit in defeat? Failure makes you aware of the ground reality. Something similar happened to me in those days. I accepted the truth and put all my energy into the work I always wanted to do. At that time all the fear came out of my mind. I had my daughter, whom I loved very much. I had a typewriter and a tremendous idea in mind. That’s all, I started working. You may be successful in the field where I failed, but it is not possible that someone always wins. Sometimes you have to face defeat. No one can escape failure. Defeat made me realize that I have tremendous willpower, discipline, and above all, I have friends for whom relationships are more important than money. Such a feeling increases your ability.
From my experience, I can say that physical achievements of life cannot determine your happiness. Your education and your impressive CV are not your life. Life is difficult, complicated, no one is in control. It makes sense to learn from difficulties and to use your energy in the right direction. True happiness comes when you begin to understand your true abilities. Therefore, there is no need to panic from defeat. Defeat gives us a chance to identify ourselves. Take advantage of it.
Recognize the power of imagination
Imagination has played a big role in grooming my life. But imagination doesn’t just mean concocted stories. It refers to the imagination, with the help of which you feel the sorrows of others. During my work at Amnesty International, I got to know about many political prisoners and victims. God has given man the imagination, with the help of which he can feel the suffering of others. But most people do not want to think about others. They do not want to open the doors of their hearts and minds to understand the suffering of others. They want to live in their narrow circle. this is not right. The more educated, qualified and accomplished you are, the greater your responsibility. And this responsibility is not limited to the borders of our country. You are also responsible to the people living in other parts of the world.