High-school graduation speeches usually don't get much play--until this one. An 18-year-old in New Zealand moved his classmates to tears with his, and in doing so, has inspired the Internet.
Jack Ross Bailey is the equivalent of the senior class president of his high-school in Christchurch, New Zealand. A week before he was going to give his speech, the teenager found out he had an aggressive form of cancer--and would die in three weeks if he didn't get treatment. At first the principal was going to stand in for him; but Bailey re-wrote the speech and gave it himself, in a wheelchair.
Even at any age, these words would be moving. But they are nothing short of amazing in their maturity and wisdom when delivered by a young man in the prime of life. Just check out this passage:
"None of us gets out of life alive. So be gallant, be great, be gracious, and be grateful for the opportunities you have. My challenge to each of you, and to myself, is to grow and develop for the better. Forget about long-term dreams. Let's be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short-term goals. Micro-ambitious. Work with passion and pride on what is in front of us. We don't know where we might end up--or when we might end up."
He thanked his classmates for being part of his journey, and then finished up his speech to a standing ovation. In his honor, his classmates danced the haka, a traditional New Zealand dance symbolizing courage, strength, and respect.
Watch this edited version of the video--it's so uplifting!
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