The following blog post is by Family Council staff member Deborah Beuerman.

Each spring there are thousands of commencement ceremonies all around the country, and thousands of addresses to graduates.  One of the memorable ones this year was given by the actor Denzel Washington at Dillard University in New Orleans.

Mr. Washington offered four main points:

“Number one:  Put God first in everything you do. Everything you think you see in me.  Everything I’ve accomplished, everything thing you think I have – and I have a few things. Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s a gift. I didn’t always stick with him, but he stuck with me.”

“Number two:  Fail big. . . . Do what you feel passionate about.  Don’t be afraid to fail. . . .  Have dreams, but have goals. . . . To achieve these goals you must apply discipline and consistency. . . Hard work works.”

“Number three:  You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. . . . You can’t take it with you. . . .  It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with what you have. . . . That’s where the joy is—in helping others.  That’s where the success is–in helping others.”

“Finally, I pray that you put your slippers way under the bed tonight, so that when you wake up in the morning you have to get on your knees to reach them.  And while you’re down there, say thank you.  for grace, thank you for mercy, thank you for understanding, thank you for wisdom, thank you for parents, thank you for love, thank you for kindness,  thank you for humility,  thank you for peace, thank you for prosperity.  Say thank you . . .

Mr. Washington intentionally made his speech short.  You can watch his speech below.