All That Is Man – Cory Booker Drops Knowledge on Stanford Graduates

A little over a week ago Stanford had its 121st commencement ceremony. The speaker was graduate, former Stanford football player, Rhode Scholar, and current New Jersey major Cory Booker. I first heard about this guy a few months ago when he allegedly juked out his bodyguard to run into a burning building to save a woman. Some versions of the story say he punched out his bodyguard to get by him. Either way, pretty baller.

Here is the whole speech for you to check out. It’s quite inspirational.

For those of you that won’t invest the time in the video, here a couple quotes I felt compelled to get out of bed to write down.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport” – funny how we expect everything handed to us. I suppose if we aren’t willing to do the job of a politician or even participate by doing anything more than voting, we have less of a right to complain. Along the same lines, Booker says most people resort to “sedentary agitation”. Great term!

“Fear is a precondition to discovery” – bam! Think about that next time you’re scared.

And ladies, unlike most of our men featured in our All That Is Man series, Booker is both alive and single. What are you waiting for?

This speech ties together the last two books I’ve read. One about a grad student that spent years hanging out in the Chicago projects to learn how they live – Booker did something similar in Newark. The other about Obama’s 2008 campaign – Booker is also a strong African American politician with an extensive education and roots in community organizing. Funny how connections like this seem to happen …

2 thoughts on “All That Is Man – Cory Booker Drops Knowledge on Stanford Graduates

  1. Scott H says:

    Cory Booker truly deserves a place among your list of manly men. Honestly, the work he has done to make Newark a livable city is incredible. Since he became mayor, the city has seen massive decreases in crime and drug-abuse. He also has this great theory about creating pride where you live by replacing all broken windows. His thought is that broken windows make people feel that they live in a dangerous place and lose pride in their community. If you keep the appearance of the area intact then you can actually build real community. Apparently it works.

    Also, you mentioned the story of him rushing into a burning building, but this is a man who also shoveled the driveway of an elderly constituent when NJ got covered in snow a year or so ago. Such a badass.

    • Skinner says:

      Exactly, what a baller! I am intrigued by his idea that cities are “the last frontier to make real the promise of America” – I guess he has proven the ability to turn around a city. But does that mean top down national policy won’t work? He certainly operates on the belief that little things can make a big difference.

      He is the type of inspirational person people can believe in vs. a politician only capable of setting the right policy. In today’s internet age, I think the inspiration factor is more important than just a decade ago.

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