Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington was full of solid advice while delivering a commencement address to graduates of Dillard University on Saturday.
“Put God first in everything you do,” Denzel continued to loud cheers.
“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’s always stuck with me,” Denzel said. “Stick with Him in everything you do.”
He urged graduates to not “be afraid to fail big” and take chances. But in regard to material things, he cautioned that no matter “how much money you make, you can’t take it with you.”
“You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse,” he said.
He encouraged the students to live a life of prayerful gratitude.
“I pray that you put your slippers way under your bed tonight,” the actor noted toward the end of his time behind the podium, “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. 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 in advance for what’s already yours.”
“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand that it’s already yours,” he continued. “When you get it, reach back, pull someone else up.”
The Training Day actor recalled when he was flunking out of college with a 1.7 grade point average and was thinking about joining the army. He was sitting at his mother’s beauty parlor at the time and a woman gave him “a prophecy” that one day “he would travel the world and speak to millions of people.”
Although her words came true, he added, “the most important thing that stayed with me since is that I’ve been protected, I’ve been directed, I’ve been corrected. I’ve kept God in my life and it’s kept me humble,” he said. “I didn’t always stick with Him but He always stuck with me. So stick with Him in everything you do. If you think you want to do what you think I’ve done, then do what I’ve done.”