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Watch Shonda Rhimes Give an Amazing Dartmouth Commencement Speech

11 Jun

“This is no fireside chat. It’s not just you and me. This speech is filmed and streamed and tweeted and uploaded” *waves*

Shonda Rhimes gave an incredibly powerful commencement speech at Dartmouth this past weekend and not only does she write powerful monologues for Kerry Washington and Joe Morton; she does so for herself. This is the second such address that has appeared on TV Ate My Wardrobe in the recent weeks and while Mindy Kaling’s skewed a more comedic edge (naturally), Shonda Rhimes opts for a more serious tone (there are still jokes and the word ‘poop’ is used several times). It’s inspiring as Rhimes emphasizes doing over dreaming and I’ve highlighted some of the standout moments below, however it is a speech worth watching in its entirety.

Shonda Rhimes

On dreams: 

“Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.

So, Lesson One, I guess is: Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer. Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just … do. So you think, “I wish I could travel.” Great. Sell your crappy car; buy a ticket to Bangkok, and go. Right now. I’m serious.”

On doing it all (or not):

“So women and men of Dartmouth: As you try to figure out the impossible task of juggling work and family and you hear over and over and over again that you just need a lot of help or you just need to be organized or you just need to try just a little bit harder … as a very successful woman, a single mother of three, who constantly gets asked the question “How do you do it all?” For once I am going to answer that question with 100 percent honesty here for you now. Because it’s just us. Because it’s our fireside chat. Because somebody has to tell you the truth.

Shonda, how do you do it all?

The answer is this: I don’t.

Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life.”

On the example she wants to set for her daughters:

“And yet. I want my daughters to see me and know me as a woman who works. I want that example set for them. I like how proud they are when they come to my offices and know that they come to Shondaland. There is a land and it is named after their mother. In their world, mothers run companies. In their world, mothers own Thursday nights. In their world, mothers work. And I am a better mother for it. The woman I am because I get to run Shondaland, because I get write all day, because I get to spend my days making things up, that woman is a better person—and a better mother. Because that woman is happy. That woman is fulfilled. That woman is whole. I wouldn’t want them to know the me who didn’t get to do this all day long. I wouldn’t want them to know the me who wasn’t doing.”

 

 

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2 Responses to “Watch Shonda Rhimes Give an Amazing Dartmouth Commencement Speech”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. First Look at Shonda Rhimes on The Mindy Project | TV Ate My Wardrobe - September 9, 2014

    […] suggests it will involve a trip to Dartmouth. Rhimes not only went to Dartmouth, but also gave the commencement day speech back in June and Mindy Kaling also went to this school (Kaling also got in on the speech action […]

  2. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - October 10, 2014

    […] black woman” and the subsequent reaction to this horrific piece. Rhimes also discusses returning to Dartmouth this summer, which in turn reveals a hint of what her Mindy Project cameo will entail. The […]

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