Richard Mouw discusses an article which appears in The Chronicle of Higher Education in which the editors asked a number of academics to imagine what would be "the core of the message" they would give if asked to be the commencement speaker this year at Virginia Tech. The results, according to Mouw, were rather banal.
In my opinion, one of the silliest came from novelist Lionel Shriver. Mouw says this about her imaginary speech:
The most blatantly "postmodern" preachment comes from the novelist Lionel Shriver. She acknowledges that the graduates may come away from this experience with a "leeriness" about other people, especially a distrust of "the strange, the suspiciously quiet" types in their midst. That posture of suspicion, she insists, can serve them well in life. But it will be most productive, she urges, if it is directed, not primarily toward others, but instead is directed inward. "Question your certitudes," she proclaims. "Never forget that the more fiercely you believe a thing, the more likely it is that you are wrong."
Hmmm. I wonder how certain Ms. Shriver is of that.RLC