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President Chen Addresses the Commencement at National Sun Yat-sen University

Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, June 9 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian told graduates during a commencement at National Sun Yat-sen University Saturday that "the sky's the limit" and that "one should never restrict oneself to boundaries set by others." 

Addressing a full-house, Chen told a story about a drunken man who lost his key on the road home at night to metaphorically express that imposing restrictions on oneself is a pity. When the man in the story discovered he had lost his key, he began looking for it but failed to find it as he only searched the part of the road illuminated by a streetlight when in fact the key lay in the darkness just beyond the reach of the light. 

Chen used another metaphorical story to urge graduates not to be pessimistic. In this story, a farmer watching from the banks of the Hudson River the launch of America's first steamship expressed his skepticism about the modern invention by saying "I don't think it will ever sail." When the steamship did in fact set sail successfully and began moving quickly along the river, the old man responded by saying that "I don't think it will be able to stop." 

In order to urge the new graduates to never lose sight of their original aspirations, Chen conveyed yet another story, this one having once been told by the Republic of China's founding father Sun Yat-sen. 

In this story, a laborer managed to buy a lottery ticket by using all of his savings. He hid the lottery ticket in the bamboo pole that he used to make his living as a punt pusher. One day, when he found out that he had won the grand prize, he became so excited that he threw the bamboo pole into the sea thinking that now that he was rich, he would no longer need it. Gone with the bamboo pole where the laborer's lottery ticket and his hopes. 

Chen pointed out that the bamboo pole is similar to one's original ideals and the lottery ticket represents the hopes and desires for fame and fortune. He said that the pursuit of fame and fortune is not necessarily bad, but one should never lose sight of one's original ideals in the actual pursuit. 

During the commencement ceremony, Chen bestowed the university's "Diligence Award" on two of the new graduates -- Chen Chu, chairwoman of the Cabinet-level Council of Labor Affairs, and Su Chia-chuan, magistrate of Pingtung County. Both stalwarts of Chen's Democratic Progressive Party received their master's degree from National Sun Yat-sen University's Institute of Public Affairs Management. 







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