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The Importance of Awareness

The Importance of Awareness
 

In the Spring of 2005, David Foster Wallace delivered a commencement address at Kenyon College.

 

The Importance of Awareness

This is how he started the address:

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how's the water?”

And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

The most important realities are often the hardest to see because they just…

Are.

 

Real stuff. Essential stuff. Is often hiding in plain sight.

 

We take this stuff for granted. It’s so woven into the fabric of our life experience. Or our culture.

 

We must constantly remind ourselves.

 

This is water.

I

t’s worth reading or listening to Wallace’s whole address. Here’s a link to the full text. And here’s an audio recording.

 

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