Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Denzel Washington Makes A Fool Of Himself At University of Pennsylvania Commencement?

Your Black World reports

Oh, but don't be startled, for it is quite the contrary.
As the commencement speaker, our beloved Denzel Washington was more than merely motivating the graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania on May 16. Utilizing his own humility as a teaching tool, he shared, "I had to come [address your class] exactly because I might make a fool of myself. I've found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Nothing." 

In addition to admitting that delivering commencement speeches is outside of his comfort zone, he stressed the importance of taking risks in life, and how the risks he took lead to his successful acting career. Washington proceeded to share his own shaky and uncertain career journey. He said that one of his first failures occurred at Fordham University in New York. It was here that he discovered pre-med was, by far, not his expertise. He then thought pre-law might be it - nope. How about journalism? Not that either. Finally, as I'm sure you can guess, Washington changed his degree to drama - saving himself from flunking out. For this, Denzel fans across the nation are eternally grateful. 

For this inspirational message, at least one fresh grad is also grateful. Adam Shore said, "No one ever tells a graduating class, 'You're going to fail,' but it was very important for everyone to hear that. You can't go ... thinking you're going to succeed in every way. You have to be realistic." Not only did Washington NOT make a fool of himself, he doused the fears of failure bewared by many a grad student. To top it off, at the ceremony Washington also received an honorary doctorate from University of Pennsylvania's president, Amy Gutmann.   

By Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
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