Saturday, May 30, 2020

Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid says 'Batman and Superman are not coming' in a speech advising college graduates to become their own heroes

Worth reading the whole article

David Choi
,Business Insider•May 29, 2020

Retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, the former head of US Special Operations Command and the commander who oversaw the military raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, told college graduates that they, not super heroes, must be the ones to "save the world" in an online commencement speech on Friday afternoon.


"After all these years, I came to realize that the heroes that we need are not the heroes that I've been searching for," McRaven said. "But as I grew up and traveled the world, and as I saw more of my fair share of war and destruction, I came to the hard truth that Captain America isn't coming to the rescue. There is no Superman, no Batman, no Wonder Woman, no Black Widow ... no Gandalf, no Harry Potter."

Despite the challenges facing the US and the world, McRaven said the graduates still had hope.

"If we are going to save the world from pandemics, war, climate change, poverty, racism, extremism, intolerance, then you, the brilliant minds of MIT, you are going to have to save the world," McRaven added.

McRaven offered up several qualities that the students ought to have in life to "save the world" — qualities that transcended their academic accomplishments.

"Physical courage has long been the hallmark of a warrior. But I would offer that the moral courage to stand up for what's right has an equal place in the pantheon of heroes," McRaven said.


McRaven also highlighted integrity and "always trying to do what is moral, legal, and ethical."

"It will not be easy," McRaven said. "And I dare say you will fail occasionally. You will fail because you are human. You will fail because life often forces you into an unseeingly untenable position. You will fail because good and evil are always in conflict.

"And when you fail to uphold your integrity, it should make you sick to your stomach. It should give you sleepless nights. You should be so tortured that you promise yourself never to do it again."


"I want you to promise me one thing," McRaven said. "Promise me that you will be the last class, the last class to miss a commencement because of a pandemic. The last class to miss a commencement because of war. The last class to miss a commencement because of climate change, unrest, tyranny, extremism, active shooters, intolerance, and apathy."

McRaven added: "Batman and Superman are not coming to save the world. It will be up to you."


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