We don’t need success. We need change.
On july 1st Clarice Gargard was invited to hold the commencement speech at Amsterdam University College (UvA).
We all have our own success stories, coming from different backgrounds and places. Our own obstacles we’ve had to overcome.
In the face of adversity, simply surviving becomes a virtue.
But, although, I think we should celebrate our success from strife, I long for the day that strife in itself is no longer necessary in order to gain success or a semblance of a humane life.
Sometimes people call others like me a success story. Like Rob Jetten, the leader of D66 recently did in his speech about education.
He spoke of Dutch politicians of Moroccan descent like Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Marcouch of Arnhem and white Dutch politician Wouter Koolmees who started with ‘just’ a vmbo-diploma and made it to minister of Social Affairs.
And while those accomplishments are indeed commendable and possible here in the Netherlands.
I think I’d rather be a cautionary tale.