什么样的“哦”你想成为呢？什么样的印象你想带给陌生人，朋友，教授和你的邻居呢？尊重他人、诚实、努力工作、慷慨大度、公平公正、富有同情心、友好 、风趣幽默、善良、 友爱。 这些是我想让你们，你们每一个，所能成为的人，你们每一个都是，这些是你们现在应该展示给这个世界的品质。不管公平与否，你们将要遇到的人将会看到你们，从而看到整个中国。给他们一些美好去欣赏。你们不将只是Albus 或者max,fiona 或者john,linda 或者candy,你们将会成为中国。去向他们展示你们的国家，你们的文化和你们自己的厚度。
美国不是一个没有缺陷的国家。那里有很大的贫富差距，生活成本的增长，并且令人伤心的，在许多地区，历史遗留的种族种族紧张和不公正显然没有被完全的解决。但是相对于它的弊端，美国有一个伟大而闪亮的品质使之成为至今在世界上独一无二国家。它是被移民者们所创建的国家。当你踏入那里的时候，你将会成为这个多样化的，充满勇气和希望的历史中的一部分。去国外旅行，去居住在一个远离家乡的陌生国度，去寻找更好的风景，这是一个奇迹。你们拥有这样的品质－勇敢，乐观，自信和激情。我在和你们在一起的年月中一次又一次的看到你们身上的这些品格。这样的探险精神不仅仅会在美国的大学课堂上帮助你们，它将会带你们翻越过所有生活中将要面对的障碍。 它会将你带到你心带领你去的任何地方。 它将会点亮你的路途，通向不确定的今天，明天，在美国，在中国的路途，作为一个年轻的成年人走过大学的路途，五十年之后你与你的家人一起苍老，灰白并充满皱纹时的路途。
我很感谢你们的家长将你们付与这个世界。你们可能尚未意识到，对我们来说，你们比一般学生要意味着多一点点，我谨代表代表外教 Nick, Carlos和我自己。每一天我们都行走在国外，看着外国人的脸，听着外国的语言。当然这是我们自己的选择，并且我们享受它。经历一些全新而不同的事物是我们来这里的初衷。 但是我们在北京的生活与曾经的生活大大的断开了链接，地域，人民，文化，语言－英语，我们自小学习的母语。你们是我们的桥梁。我不能每天都和我的妈妈聊天。我不能和我最好的朋友通话因为他在地球的另一边酣眠。除了与你们和我的妻子，我不能和其他任何人有真正的，有深度的谈话。每一天－甚至没有意识到的，你们给我们机会去和我们的生活，文化和语言去接触。 我不能与我的好朋友通话，但我可以和你们去唱一首我们曾经一起唱过的歌。我不能与我的妈妈通话，但是我可以给你们讲一个关于她的故事。发自我深深内心的，我想说谢谢你们每一个人，我足够幸运而得以拥有的与你们的每一个对话点亮了我的每一天。 你们和我的妻子，因为遇到了你们，使我在离家如此遥远的地方依然感觉家里一般。我个人珍重且珍惜我们在一起的时光。你们曾经是我的学生，你们将永远是我的朋友。
I want to begin by saying this is your day. I have been teaching for ten years now. Most of those years were spent teaching 8th Grade at Francisco Middle School, where every year, around this same time, we have a massive graduation ceremony for all of the students who are finishing middle school. And every year, there is always an emphasis on recognizing the parents who have helped you along the way every step of your life. And that’s true. And there is always an emphasis on thanking the teachers who have helped you along the way every step of your education. And that’s also true. But every year, I say the same thing I’m going to say to you, the graduating Class of 2015, right now: this is your day. You earned this. There was help along the way, but ultimately, no amount of help will push you to this kind of success unless you’re willing to put in the hours and years of hard work yourself. This is not a day for your parents, loving and supportive as they are. This is not a day for your teachers, helpful and caring as they are. This is a day for you. You are the ones who have put in the work to stand here today. And in fact, you probably just completed the most difficult high school experience in terms of time, rigor, and workload of any teenagers in any country in the world. I offer you my sincere congratulations on a job well done.
In a strange, mystical, beautiful way that makes me think the world does sometimes work the way it’s all supposed to, I look at you and I see myself. Every day I walk into a room full of people who are about to leave home and family and everything they know to go flying off to college in some city where it rains too much but the environment is spectacular, the coffee is strong, the music is great, and your dreams are within your grasp. Fourteen years ago I was getting on a plane to leave home and begin the next chapter of my life - college. That plane landed in Seattle, too.
Fair or unfair, there is a reality that you’re going to have to come to grips with: the minute your plane lands at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, you will become an ambassador for your country. When I step into my classroom, stand on the subway, take a seat in a restaurant, wait in line at the movie theater, walk my dog around my own neighborhood streets, or even stand here and speak to you now, there is a reality I need to face: I am no longer “Michael;” I am an American. Fair or unfair, I have to acknowledge the fact that when strangers look at me, listen to me, judge me by my actions, or judge me by my haircut, they are taking me as a symbol of America. Without ever meaning to or wanting to, every word, action, smile, and frown I make represents my entire country and culture to 24 million people in this city who don’t know the whole deep truth of where I come from. I am a walking, talking, living, breathing symbol of America. I want that symbol to be something people can look up to, even if it’s very different. When you head off to Seattle, fair or unfair, everything you do and say and be will be examined by people, and the conclusion, the shortcut, they’re going to come up with is, “oh…she’s Chinese.” What kind of “oh” do you want that to be? What kind of image do you want to give your new strangers, and friends, and professors, and neighbors? Respectful. Honest. Hardworking. Generous. Fair. Compassionate. Friendly. Humorous. Kind. Loving. These are the things I know you to be, every one of you. These are the things that you should now show the world. Fair or unfair, the people you are about to meet will look at you and they will see all of China. Give them something beautiful to look at. You will not just be Albus or Max, Fiona or John, Linda or Candy; you will be China. Show them the richness of your country, your culture, and yourself.
The United States is a country that is not without flaws. There is a widening wealth gap, growing costs of living, and, sadly, in many parts, a long history of racial tension and injustice that has obviously not been completely solved. But for all of its problems, America has one great shining quality that makes it unique in the world even today; it is a country that was built by immigrants. That history of diversity, courage, and hope is one that you will now become a part of the moment you set foot there. To travel abroad, to live in a strange land far from home and family in search of something better - this is a magical thing. The traits necessary to do this - courage, optimism, confidence, and passion - these are traits that you possess. I have seen them in each one of you time and time again in our months and years together. This spirit of adventure that you have will not only help you in a college classroom in the United States; it will carry you over any obstacle you face in life. It will take you anywhere your heart leads you. It will light your way through the darkness of uncertainty today, tomorrow, in America and in China, as a young adult working your way through university, and fifty years from now when you’re old and gray and full of wrinkles, with families of your own. You are Jefferson, writing your own future. You are Columbus, sailing toward an unknown horizon. The strength you have to journey into the unknown in search of your dreams is a special thing, something very few people in this entire world ever have. It’s always easier to stay where you are. You are Neil Armstrong, shooting to the moon. And if you decide someday to come back to Earth (or Beijing), then you have that strength, too. That spirit of the dreamer, the brave, the immigrant will help you succeed when you’re alone someplace on the other side of the world…and it will help you right back here at home. I admire you greatly.
Lastly, I admire you greatly as students. But I admire you ever so much more as human beings. I am grateful to your school for giving me the opportunity to work with you for the past year and a half. I am grateful to your parents for giving you to the world. But most of all, I am grateful to each one of you for being you. You may not be aware of this, but you are something else a little bit more than just a student to us. I’m speaking on behalf now of the foreign teachers, Nick, Carlos, and myself. Every day we walk around in a foreign city, with foreign faces, a foreign culture, and a foreign language. This was our own choice of course, and we enjoy it. Experiencing something new and different is part of why we came. But we spend our lives here in Beijing largely disconnected from the lives of our pasts; the places, the people, the cultures, and the language - English - that we’ve known from our earliest days of childhood. You are our bridge. I don’t get to talk to my mother every day. I can’t call my best friend when I get home from work because he’s asleep halfway around the world. I really can’t communicate - truly, deeply communicate - with anyone here except for my wonderful wife. And you all. Every day - without even knowing it - you give us the chance to stay in touch with our lives, our cultures, and our language. I can’t call my best friend, but I can show you a song we worked on together. I can’t talk to my mother, but I can tell you a story about my mom. On a deeply personal note, I want to say thank you to each of you. Every conversation I’m fortunate enough to have had with you has been a highlight of my day. You, along with my wife, are the people who have made me feel so at home in such a faraway place since I met you. And I have personally cherished and treasured our time together since I’ve had the privilege of working with you and getting to know you. You were my students. You will always be my friends.
Stick together. Lean on each other. Support one another the way I’ve seen you do over and over in class. You are a tribe, traveling together, journeying together, connected together forever by the experiences you’ve shared and the experiences you are about to share. Be fearless. Be unique. Be critical of the world around you, and use your knowledge, your wisdom, and your compassion to make it a better place. Smile. Laugh. Love. Be yourself. I already know who each one of you is. Now go show the rest of the world.