One thing to love about life is that it can be surprising.
When people think wisdom, a number of things can come to mind. Grandparents for example, perhaps the symbolic owl, maybe the advice of the Dalai Lama. For me, it would be the book of Proverbs. Wisdom however, isn’t restricted to those places, and it’s surprising to find a dash of wisdom, or inspiration in this case, in a not-so-typical place.
The Teen Choice Awards this year was unusually inspiring. Personal confession; I was not among the hoarders of tween/teen viewers watching the show since I’ve outgrown both those categories. Or maybe it was because Miley isn’t the role model she used to be so I had no particular interest. Whatever the reason, I didn’t see the show. What did peak my interest was this clip of Ashton Kutcher that seemed to be everywhere on the Internet. Tag line: “reveals his first name” provoked curiosity. Not sure what was expected, Princess Consuela Bananahammock maybe, but that is not what Mr. Kutcher revealed.
Here’s the shocker….
The 6’2″ brunette, clean-shaven actor walks up the stairs to the stage to accept the 2013 Ultimate Choice Award. His beginning words are lighthearted and amusing as he stands in front of the crowd donning a gray baseball cap and casual plaid shirt. Then he begins to talk with an honesty that’s seldom, if ever, seen in Hollywood. Kutcher knows this, standing at the mic scratching his five o’clock shadow. He reveals the secret of his name, which isn’t really Ashton it’s Chris. Ashton is his middle name; the two got flipped when he became an actor at nineteen. “There were some really amazing things I learned when I was Chris,” he announces boldly to the auditorium. The first was opportunity. He tells about the string of typical jobs that made up his past as a teenager. None of which were extraordinary, but they meant something, and they ultimately made him something. With absolute confidence and definite humility Kutcher admits; “I never had a job that I was better than…” Each open door serves a purpose. Kutcher’s words allude to those of Theodore Roosevelt’s when he said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” A little Carpe Diem will take you places. Kutcher ends his first point by saying; “I never quit my job until I had my next job, and so opportunities look a lot like work.” He then goes on to say something that elicits the expected hoots and hollers from the young, impressionable audience. “Number two, being sexy.” The crowd screams, though what he says next is unexpected. It has nothing to do with Playmates, lingerie, or sculpted abs. “The sexiest thing in the entire world,” his pause is met with more screams “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.” Certainly a gutsy move speaking truth like that about what the industry of fame revolves around. It’s not about what the media says it’s about. What matters is respect, what’s worthy of gawking is integrity, and what’s attractive is modesty. “…Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.” Thirdly, Mr. Chris/Ashton Kutcher shares an insight that was refreshed while he was filming the upcoming movie about Steve Jobs, premiering August 16th, 2013. It was about life and what that really means. “Everything around us that we call life was made up by people no smarter than you.” Steve Jobs broke out of the snow globe that is society, and it obviously paid off. Take risks, have faith, dare to make a difference. “Build a life, don’t live one, build one.” it’s fitting to close this post with the commentary of a YouTube viewer, one of many, who watched the clip. They wrote; “what an incredibly inappropriate venue for such an inspiring speech.” Could not agree more. Could not be happier he did it.
Here’s the link to see the actor in action: ftp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNXwKGZHmDc