I graduated from the Harvard Extension School the year JK Rowling gave this speech at Harvard's Commencement. I loved it then, and I love it now.
I hope these quotes from her speech give comfort to anyone going through a tough time (and, if you're not now, just save them for the next time one hits like a tornado)
*Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. In which case, you have failed by default.
*You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift.
*Given a time turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisitions or achievements. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people...who confuse the two.
*Life is difficult and complicated and beyond anyone's total control and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.
And for anyone looking for inspiration to get your butt in the chair, and your pen on the page:
*Imagination...is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.