COLLEGE

Condoleeza Rice Tells Grads To Find People They Disagree WIth

"Don’t allow yourself the easy course of the constant amen to everything that you say.”

During High Point University's May 7 commencement, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice urged the Class of 2016 to find opinions that differ from theirs. 

“It's possible today to live in an echo chamber that serves only to reinforce your own high opinion of yourself and what you think," Rice said in her speech on the High Point, North Carolina campus. "That is a temptation that educated people must reject. There is nothing wrong with holding an opinion and holding it strongly. But at times when you are sure that you're absolutely right, go and find somebody who disagrees. Don't allow yourself the easy course of the constant amen to everything that you say.”

But at the same time, Rice told graduates they shouldn't let people talk them out of pursuing what they really care about. 

"When you find your passion, it's yours. Not what someone else thinks it should be," Rice said. "There's no earthly reason that a black girl from Birmingham, Alabama should be a Soviet specialist. But that's what I wanted to be. Don't let anyone else define your passion for you because of your gender or the color of your skin."

CONVERSATIONS