American TV satirist Stephen Colbert's commencement speech at Northwestern university wasn't as funny as Conan O'Brien's at Dartmouth, but the inevitable 'now I'm serious kids, please keep listening' section was far better – it was pretty much a hard-hitting sermon.
Stressing that we were hearing from Colbert the real-life person and not Colbert the character from The Colbert Report, the former offered something the latter never would:
“Whatever your dream is right now, if you don't achieve it, you haven't failed, and you're not some loser. But just as importantly – and this is the part I may not get right and you may not listen to – if you do get your dream, you are not a winner.
[. . . .]
“In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love, because, as the prophet says, service is love made visible.
“If you love friends, you will serve your friends.
“If you love community, you will serve your community.
“If you love money, you will serve your money.
“And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself. And you will have only yourself.
“So no more winning. Instead, try to love others and serve others, and hopefully find those who love and serve you in return.”
FULL BLOG: Colbert's commencement sermon (The Christian Century)
The Quiet Faith Behind Colbert's Right-Wing Funnyman (Huffington Post)
Colbert's Catholic Throwdown