David Foster Wallace “This is Water” Commencement Speech

Graduation season is here again, making it the perfect time for The Glossary to create a short film out of a great commencement speech by the late writer David Foster Wallace. It has great application to life, and thus great application to those seeking financial freedom.

Consciousness. Conscious living. Conscious spending. All things that sound simple but are so hard to actually do on a daily basis.

The speech is abridged above, I enjoyed reading the full version.


  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing this video. A very powerful message with lots of applications. And the story of David Foster Wallace is as stunningly sad as that of John Kennedy Toole.

  2. Great video – thanks for posting this

  3. David Wallace, as in the new owner of Dunder Mifflin?

  4. My personal favorite commencement speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lfxYhtf8o4 Enjoy!

  5. I realize that Wallace was trying to make a larger point, but why not tell graduates that the American suburban experiences of commuting in traffic and shopping in supermarkets are choices, not requirements? I eliminated these things from my lifestyle 8 years ago and have been much happier for it.

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