Don’t Work. Be Hated. Love Someone

There’s a speech that’s caught the attention of hundreds, maybe thousands of re-tweeters and Facebook forwards this week. Given as a graduation speech to a Singapore university in 2008, Adrian Tan‘s speech has evoked a resounding nod and ponder from all recent readers, and has definitely resounded with me, a graduating student in May.

He advises the students of three main principles to live by – don’t work, be hated and love someone – things that possibly take a lifetime to aspire to, and he urges us to start now.


I encourage you to read the full text here, however here’s an excerpt from my favourite principle below – be hated.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you know anyone who hates you? Yet every great figure who has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross.

One does not have to be evil to be hated. In fact, it’s often the case that one is hated precisely because one is trying to do right by one’s own convictions. It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions.”

Thank you to the author that posted this four days ago, and to the many that shared, re-tweeted and have blogged about it this week – you definitely gave me a lot to think about this week!

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