When I was in middle school, an older boy I respected pulled me aside and said the following: “Be yourself when you start high school. There are a lot of fake people who want you to be fake with them. Don’t listen to what they say. Do you own thing and in the long run it will pay off.”
“Scott” will never know how much his words affected me, but the wisdom he passed on resonated throughout my entire life. In a similar manner, I believe Ashton Kutcher’s “Teen Choice Awards” speech will yield positive results for years to come. There are many kids who look up to him, and sometime in the future they will sit back and reflect on what he said. In their quiet moments many of them will take to heart what he said about hard work, intelligence and generosity and it will help to properly align their moral compass. It’s rare for a Hollywood celebrity to use their time in front of the camera to string together so many truths in ways specifically geared towards kids, but Ashton (or should we now say “Chris”?) did it. For that, I salute him.
Ashton Kutcher, like all of us, is not perfect. I have some serious disagreements with some of his past behavior. But on that night, to that audience, he was pitch perfect.
Here’s just a bit of what he had to say:
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like work … I never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. Every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job before I had my next job. … “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful and being generous. Everything else is crap. I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it. Be smart. Be thoughtful and be generous.”
If you haven’t seen his speech, I suggest watching it in its entirety: