Denzel Washington – An Empowerment Speech


Oscar winning actor and star of Kato Hammond’s 1982 Young Playwrights award winning play, Denzel Washington stands among students giving them an empowering speech about their crafts, gifts, and missions.

Watch the following inspiring video clip, and then check out the transcript below it.

“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand to indicate that it’s yours already.

That It that you have for whatever it is you want to be, in front of the camera, on the stage, behind the stage, that It, that desire for good, is God’s proof to you sent already to indicate that it’s yours. You already have it! Claim it!  Understand this also.  You have these dreams. Dreams without goals, remain dreams. Just dreams.  And ultimately fuel disappointment. Dreams without goals, yearly goals, life goals, daily goals, monthly goals, hourly goals, minute by minute goals, Dreams without goals are just dreams.  And they ultimately fuel disappointment.

Goals on the road to achievement cannot be achieved without discipline and consistency. You understand?  Between goals and achievements are discipline and consistency. I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed that night, so that you’ve got to get on your knees in the morning.  And while you’re down there, thank God for grace and mercy and understanding.  We all fall short of the glory.  We all got plenty. If you just start thinking about all the things that you’ve got and say “Thank you” for. That’s a day.  That’s easily a day.  Right?  So you have already been given these gifts.  

We have a little boy in our show doing “A Raisin In The Sun”. And we have a circle where we pray every day.  And his prayer… this boy prayed up… he just prays that we go out and just touch someone.  He says, “God, somebody out there needs us tonight.” And we all have that unique gift to go out and touch people and effect people.  Understand that gift!  Protect that gift! Appreciate that gift!  Utilize that gift!  Don’t abuse that gift! Treasure it! You already have it!

And finally, I say this: You’ll never see a U-haul behind a hearse. I’ll say it again.  You’ll never see a U-haul behind a hearse. Now I’ve been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life. I can’t take it with me. And neither can you. So, it’s not how much you have. It’s what you do with what you have.  And we all have different gifts. Some money. Some love. Some patience. Some with the ability to touch people. But we all have it. Use it! Share it! That’s what counts. Not what you’re driving. Not what you’re buying. Not what kind of house your bought your mama.  Go buy your mom a house… ain’t nothing wrong with that. But understand that we are all in this fraternity together.  I’m just one of y’all.  I’m just another actor up here on the stage.  We all started in the same place.”

– Denzel Washington

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