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Influential figure, David Foster Wallace

The way we live is attributed to the things we encounter, directly or indirectly, along the course of life. Different people influence our lives, and cause us to turn to good and others to bad. I have not known David Wallace, but his writing has been so influential to me. His enthusiasm, passion, and philosophy for life are extremely portrayed in his writing. Among his most influential writing is his speech to the graduating class at Keynon in 2005. On reading this speech, I changed my perception towards life.

David has a different view of life, which most of us lack. This is as evidenced in his precise speech where he gives different example to illustrate various phenomena. The manner in which he perceives life seems rather unrealistic, but a keen focus on the things he says shows what life is about. For instance, many things happen daily, and they are perceived as obvious and not many people give a second thought to why they happen. David compelled me to take even the most obvious things in life as not just obvious, but as factors that are crucial in my own life. He influenced me not to take anything for granted.

The way David perceives education is remarkable. Earlier, before reading the speech, education was a matter of filling me up with knowledge. However, David’s perception is that education is not just about filling our brains but rather a way to assist me in thinking. David thus influenced my perception for education, and now, apart from filling my brains, I am able to use it to influence the manner in which I think.

In his example about the religious person and the atheist, David influences me on appreciating other people’s views. People look at different things in different ways. Not thinking like other people does not mean I am a lesser person or the vice-versa. The most appropriate manner to handle such situations is to appreciate other people’s thoughts. This influenced me significantly, and despite the difference in thoughts between me and others, I am able to appreciate them. In the event that my integrity tells me that I am right, I am able to express myself with no arrogance at all. This results to a well-calculated course of life that is emulated by many of my friends.

David, through his writing, has influenced me not only to think, but also to control the way I think. In other words, he influenced me to choose wisely among my thoughts to get the utmost experience in life. In his speech, he says that learning the way to think also involves exercising some control over how, as well as what one thinks. I have tried this, and results, in most cases, have been brilliant. Most people just think, but luck the control to what they think ; thus, they are a product of uncontrolled thinking that is not suitable in life. David has made my life make a u-turn through whatever I think.


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