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                Home / Academic Papers / Content
                Academic Papers
                Address by Professor Xu Shenjian on Graduation Ceremony for 2009-Class Postgraduates
                TIME: 2014-09-06|CLICKS:

                Enjoy Heaven’s Endowment to Embrace a Most Brilliant Future

                Students, Fellow Teachers,

                Good afternoon.

                It is an honor to be assigned to address the graduation ceremony for postgraduate on behalf of the School of Law. In recent years, thought-affording graduation addresses are increasing and widely read. Aside from Zhu Suli series outside CUPL, the “outstanding” address by Professor Wang Yong and the “never slackening” one by vice-dean He Bing have all become classics. What am I going to say? Congratulations and exhortations are absolutely necessary. This occasion is special for you, and according I have to say something special. We all know that, time is boundless and objective. It is human being that has afforded meaning to time, dividing it into past, present and future. With the present ceremony as the line, your time can also be separated into past, present and future. But, how should the three stages be spent? Let us listen to the urges of a sage from China, whose standard American English has moved billions of people worldwide. Here goes the recording:

                There is a saying,

                Yesterday is history

                Tomorrow is a mystery

                But today is a gift

                That is why it is called the present (the gift)

                The sage is apt with words; in a pun, he transformed the meaning of the word present into gift.

                You are all laughing knowingly. Yes, these are the very words used by the master to exhort Po in the movie Kungfu Panda. Today I am quoting them, to encourage you and myself, to look backward to the past and forward into the future. At first, let us trace the past. You have created a brilliant history of your own: you have successfully graduated, got your degree and found your ideal job. Congratulations. In the context of worsening global economic crisis, employment rate of graduates majoring in legal science are the worst. It must have been difficult to find a satisfactory job. To safeguard the academic prestige of CUPL, School of Law has implemented thesis pre-defense system. Maybe some of you have been under pressure, for fear that you might be flunked.

                However, you have been understanding of the good will of the School. If postgraduate degree is the synonym of strict requirements, the gold content of degrees will be greatly heightened. As the saying goes, “only pleasure obtained with difficulty can be fully enjoyed”. If you want to vent your pent-up pressure, you may seek out Professor He Bing and toast him with cups of wine at the graduation banquet following this ceremony, since he is the very mastermind behind the system of thesis pre-defense. In addition, this is a most important moment in your life and you will relive it later on. Your parents, sweethearts, families, relatives and friends are sharing the glory and joy brought about by this special day.

                After the ceremony, your loved ones will present you bouquets, you friends hugs, and the faculty will take photos with you, to memorize this beautiful moment. I have also noticed that some of us have lowered their heads and are reading text messages over their cell phones with a smile. Your phone may have been silenced or adjusted to vibration mode, but your hearts throb with the vibrating handset, because congratulations from relatives and friends have made it difficult for you to stay unperturbed.

                Let me quote a slogan “You can’t beat the feeling.” Yes, at this moment of overflowing happiness and heavenly awards, we all want to exclaim at the top of our lungs “School of Law, we are graduating.” Later on, there will be a graduation banquet, for faculties and students to celebrate this great occasion. Success in life should be enjoyed to the full, so do not let the golden cup down. After graduation, you will set out on your own, prepared for a new life, which will turn on a new page. Faced with the future, those ambitious are always full of passion. Two decades ago, Bill Gates wrote a book entitled The Gate of Future, depicting his future world—the Microsoft empire.

                However, the future is unsure. The bell rang for Spring Festival last year as usual, but who could have foreseen the catastrophic snow in South China, the turbulence in Tibet, the devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, or the deadly flu of this year. Modern society features multiple values and conflicting philosophies. Weber calls it Warring Gods, and Durkheim value confusion. Currently China is the fastest changing society; our lifestyle would have been unimaginable for the generation before us. After this grand event, you will start a new life. What would future hold in store for you? The treasure behind the sesame door, or the box of chocolate in Forrest Gump, or a game for the braver that calls for destruction of obstacles. They are all possible. Before you knock on the door to future, I would like to offer some suggestions.

                First, adjust yourself and get adapted to the new life. The ivory tower is pleasant, but you have to roam crossroads. Do not overstate the complicatedness or darkness of the society. Humanity are the same, and everyone years love and to be loved. Do not look on the officialdom or your career with the perspectives of Guohua or Go Lala Go! It would be ridiculous to handle interpersonal relationships using tactics mentioned in the spy TV series Qianfu. Life is not so dramatic as spy movies. Please remember that do unto others as you would want done unto you. Be kind to others, even strangers. You don’t have to be aggressive. Uphold the principle of seeking common points while reserving difference. The civil disturbance of Iran and the nuclear tests of Korea might affect our lives via butterfly effects, while the espionage gate concerning Fang Jing the master of ceremonies might arouse our curiosity. However, those are mere fodders for conversation. To properly handle the relationship between work and family is the most important. In fact, the interpersonal relationship demanding your meticulous attention involves only dozens of people, but those people will determine your future in the real sense of the word.

                Second, define the objectives of your life and realize you dream. It goes without saying that all of you have ideals and ambitions, because you have chosen to advance yourself by pursuing a postgraduate degree at School of Law. The secret for success mentioned in Kung Fu Panda is “To make something special, you just have to believe it is special.” Psychologically this is called Pygmalion effect. Therefore you should always harbor a lofty ambition. And I am waiting for you to become great statesmen like Barrack Obama and Ma Ying-jeou. It can be expected that alumni from CUPL will hold much sway over rule-of-law, as legal professionals have insistently gained influence. I read this message from the tablet “The world is governed by law.” It is also the secret code for Professor Jiang Ping’s success. Admittedly, you have to have the right conditions for success. So, do not overreach yourself; just choose a most suitable life upon rational appraisal of yourself. The 20-80 law is insurmountable. Remember CUPL when you have gained influence and wealth. Money is not an issue; the issue is that your alma mater lacks money. And always be ready to lend a helping hand to your classmates in distress.

                Third, continue your legal studies, and be a practitioner of learning for life. The law is not a vending machine; it is incapable of giving solution upon reception of facts and provisions. That’s why practitioners of law advocate critical thinking. The clamor over recent Deng Yuejiao case has settled after 37 days. Jurists have heralded it as the victory of netizens, of justice. However, it occurred to me that Aristotle once remarked that law is reason devoid of emotion. After all, this case is different from Xu Ting case, where issues of dispute are centralized on applicable laws. In stead, the most heatedly contended focus is fact. Where are the experts’ factual evidences for thought-provoking decisions? Despite internal similarity, Kobe’s case and Kennedy’s case are completely differently handled. In those cases, sexual relation did exist and the female party had accused defendants of raping. However, the public opinion did not unjustly demand that severe punishment be administered to the misbehaving star and official. Suspects are cleared of their charges by factual cognizance procedures technically. The road to a just and rational judicial system is long ahead and beset with difficulties. Its construction needs your effort and civil enlightenment. After all, the level of legal professional is dependent on the level of netizens.

                At last, bear in mind that to love others you should love yourself. Loving yourself does not mean selfishness. The singer Wang Lihong sang “to love you is to love myself”. However, you cannot love others without a self. There are things that you have to learn to face by yourself. We can shoulder the rise and fall of our country; we can actively play our parts and become responsible to others. However, human value is of utmost significance. The pursuit of any other value, even state and social ones, should not be allowed to happen at the cost of an individual’s interests. Just imagine, mankind is the supreme existence of the universe. It’s nothing short of a miracle that you should come to the boundless cosmos. Therefore, you should love yourself and learn to love yourself. There are many uncertainties in life, and I wish you could surmount all obstacles with ease. Everything will become bygones. Remember that peril is an opportunity in disguise when your are faced with crises. Out of the depth of misfortune comes bliss and every dog has its day. That is the life. Anxiety is a social pandemic, because you will face considerable pressure in a fast changing environment. However, you should look upon it with a positive mentality. Appropriate pressure will heighten you capabilities to overcome difficulties.

                Dear students, after the ceremony, you life will turn on a new chapter. Maybe there is still some time for us to say goodbye. Maybe your eyes will be blurred by tears, and your words choked by melancholy. Whatever impacts you face in future, always be courageous. Tomorrow the ship for future will set to sail. Take your last moment as postgraduates of CUPL and relive your life here. This is surely heartwarming. Though what happens in the past might be interesting, what’s going o happen deserves your attention. Just remember to knock on the door to future with confidence.

                Tomorrow you will turn the leaf of yesterday and come back to the future. In this ceremony, let’s enjoy the heavenly awards and wish each other a prosperous future. On behalf of the supervisors, I’d like to wish you health, happiness and success. You don’t have to be sad, because the bond will remain and one of those times we shall meet again. Let me present to you the song Best Future by Liu Ruoying

                every color deserves a chance to blossom,

                black and white shouldn’t dominate back of the sun

                each of us has the right to look forward

                just follow my steps with love in your hand

                this is the best future ever to expect

                we have built a perfect present with love

                millions of rivulets converge into the sea

                each wave surges just like any other

                each dream is worth irrigation

                tears can fall down when it becomes rain

                this is the best future ever to expect

                we love each other unselfishly

                concerns cross one obstacle after another

                love and happiness will always be together

                under the same sky we care for each other

                this is the best future ever to expect

                Let’s cherish each other a brilliant future and look forward to the grand opening of the future. May you all have the best future. Take care.