06/06/2008 AT 12:15 PM ET
J.K. Rowling has challenged Harvard University graduates to act charitably toward those less fortunate.
“That is your privilege and your burden,” the Harry Potter author, 42, is quoted as saying Thursday by the Boston Globe.
“If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice, if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless, if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better.”
Receiving an honorary doctor of letters degree – at the same ceremony where Massachusetts’s Edward Kennedy, now recovering from this week’s brain surgery, was also to honored – Rowling seemed to have taken a page from the senator’s book by saying that those “who choose not to empathize are real monsters.”
– Amy Green
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