Justin Trudeau recommends being open to perspectives (Commencement Speech)

Justin Trudeau's commencement speech at NYU nailed the importance of being open to other perspectives - in fact, that was pretty much the majority of what he spoke about. 

Here are some bites, the entire video is below or here is the speech written out.

"But here’s my question: Is it really just the issue of physical safety that makes our loved ones so anxious at the idea of us getting out there, or is it the threat that if we look past our frames — the frames of our own lives, of our own community’s structured values and belief systems — to truly engage with people who believe fundamentally different things, we could perhaps be transformed into someone new and unfamiliar to those who know and love us?"

"And when you meet and befriend someone from another country or another culture who speaks a different language or who worships differently, you quickly realize this. And here’s my main point, and the challenge I’m offering you today. Our celebration of difference needs to extend to differences of values and belief, too. Diversity includes political and cultural diversity. It includes a diversity of perspectives and approaches to solving problems. See, it’s far too easy, with social media shaping our interactions, to engage only with people with whom we already agree — members of our tribe. Well, this world is and must be bigger than that."

"He realized that it’s actually easy to stand rooted in the conviction that you are right, and either wait for others to come to you, or wait for your chance to impose your rightness on others. He saw that it’s actually harder to seek compromise, to dig deep into yourself, your ideas and convictions, honestly and rigorously, to see where you can give and where you do need to stand, while opening yourself up to the other point of view, to seek out and find that common ground. And that remains Wilfrid Laurier’s political legacy, more than 100 years later. To let yourself be vulnerable to another point of view — that’s what takes true courage. To open yourself to another’s convictions, and risk being convinced, a little, or a lot, of the validity of their perspective. Now that’s scary: discovering that someone you vehemently disagree with might have a point. Might even be right. But it shouldn’t be scary, or threatening. Particularly to all of you, who have worked so hard these past years to pursue truth, to learn, to grow. Being open to others is what has gradually led Canadians to the understanding that differences can and must be a source of strength, not of weakness. And I say “gradually,” because 20th century Canadian history is filled with counter-examples and terrible setbacks that we are still trying to remedy today, most notably the systemic marginalization and oppression of Indigenous Peoples. We’re not perfect, of course, but that sense of openness, respect for other points of view, and acceptance of each other really does underpin our approach as we try to solve the great problems of our time. And not because we’re nice — but of course we are — but because by bringing together diverse perspectives, you get a much better shot at meeting those challenges. And that’s how we come back to you and the leaders the world needs you to be."

"But here’s the question: do you want to win an argument and feel good about how superior you are? Or do you actually want to change behaviors and beliefs?"


"Do you want to win an argument or do you want to change the world?"