Denzel Washington To College Grads: ‘Put God First In Everything You Do’

by Leadership

Today’s video is a speech that Denzel Washington gave to the 2015 graduating class from Dillard University. In posting it, I am not proposing Mr. Washington as a model of Christian living (above all, because I know nothing about his day-to-day life). He is undoubtedly a fantastic actor with all the ambiguities that come along with the Hollywood career. That said, testimonies of people who, like Denzel, who have reached all that the world can offer (in a mundane sense) and still have the integrity and faith to remind others that there is something more, are always welcome.

“I’m going to keep it short. “Number one: Put God first. Put God first in everything you do… Everything you think you see in me, everything I’ve accomplished, everything 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.”

The Dillard University Commencement

After the initial remarks, he goes on to tell few anecdotes worth nothing:

When I was young and started really making it as an actor, I came and talked to my mother and said, ‘Mom, did you think this was going to happen? I’d be so big and I’ll be able to take care of everybody and I can do this and I can do that.’  –She said– ‘Boy, stop it right there, stop it right there, stop it right there!” he continued. –She said– ‘If you only knew how many people been praying for you.’ How many prayer groups she put together, how many prayer talks she gave, how many times she splashed me with holy water to save my sorry behind.” –She said– ‘Oh, you did it all by yourself,'” recounted Washington.  “‘I’ll tell you what you can do by yourself: Go outside and get a mop and bucket and clean these windows – you can do that by yourself, superstar.’

Denzel Washington, 60, is married, has five children and is a Pentecostal Christian. In a January 2008 interview with Oprah Winfrey, she asked Washington, “What makes you the most proud?”  He said,  “I’m careful about the word ‘proud.’ I’m happy to have read the Bible from cover to cover. I’m on my second go-round—I read one chapter a day. Right now I’m digging John. He just had dinner with Mary, and things are about to take a turn for the worse.” (Source)

More Catholic Resources

Keep Searching, Keep Learning

Our Newest Articles:

4 Ways The Old Testament Reveals The Eucharist

4 Ways The Old Testament Reveals The Eucharist

What is Typology? Since the time of the Apostles, the Church has shown how intimately interconnected the Old and New Testaments are in the plan of God. This unity is highlighted by typology which “discerns in God’s works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he...

The Hidden Life Of Motherhood And Our Faith

The Hidden Life Of Motherhood And Our Faith

 I would say that going to art galleries and contemplating a piece of art isn’t something people do very often these days. Honestly, it’s not something I do often either, but this painting has been a staple in our living room the past six months, and it has slowly...

How To Choose Your Confirmation Saint

How To Choose Your Confirmation Saint

What Is A Patron Saint? When you are baptized, the priest says the name chosen for you by your parents. However, when you are confirmed, in the Latin Rite of the Church, you get to choose a “Confirmation Saint.” This saint is a special patron saint which you have...