Ashton Kutcher Just Restored My Faith in Humanity

At the teen choice awards, Ashton Kutcher gave one of the best acceptance speeches I have ever listened to. Seriously, it will go down (in my book at least) just below Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY Speech . I will admit, I was skeptical at first. “Am I really going to watch an Ashton Kutcher acceptance speech?” I asked myself. Well, I did, and Am I happy that I did. Watch the speech first (if you haven’t already) before reading the rest of this post.

Build your own life? Promoting opportunity and working menial jobs? Focus on education and stay smart? Have I slipped into some sort of parallel universe where celebrities are actually using their bully pulpit for the greater good?

It is a sad state of affairs when you think about it. After all, speech such as Ashton’s should be commonplace in our culture. The fact is, there is a vacuum where this sort of speech should exist. You don’t hear it out of celebrities, you don’t hear it in the pop culture, and you certainly don’t hear it from our politicians. The truth is just the opposite; everywhere you turn, all you can find is negativity and blame.

“That guy is rich because he stole his money from the people that justly deserve it.”
“Those rich people aren’t paying their FAIR share.”
“You don’t have to work hard to be successful, everyone is special after all.”

No. I beg to differ. Ashton Kutcher himself just made the case.

“The first thing. I believe that opportunity looks, a lot, like hard work . . . I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than, I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had, was a stepping stone to my next job. And I never quit my job, until I had my next job. And so, opportunities, looks a lot like work. (Applause).

I think I must be hearing things. After detailing the numerous jobs he had as a teenager (roofer, dishwasher, deli clerk, factory sweeper), and espousing the principles of hard work — he gets roaring applause — from a bunch of teenagers. But it gets better.

“The second thing. Being sexy. (Applause {lol}). The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart, and being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else, is crap. I promise you (Applause). It’s just crap, that people try to sell to you, to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it. (Applause). Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.”

I had a good laugh at the first applause line — obviously these kids weren’t applauding his to be elaborated metaphor. But no, more applause. And it gets better.

“The third thing. Steve Jobs said, when you grow up, you tend to be get that the world is the way it is. And that your life, is to live your life inside the world. And try not to get into too much trouble, and maybe get an education, and get a job, and make some money and have a family. But life can be much broader than that when you realize one simple thing. And that is, every thing around us, that we call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you (Applause). And you can build your own thing, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life, don’t live one, build one. (Applause) Find your opportunities. And always be sexy (points to head). (Applause)”

Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor and pinch myself.

Folks. It is so refreshing to hear someone in a position of power and influence speaking the truth — on national television, to a young and (in many ways) lost generation. And you can’t deny that his words are truth. Because truth resonates, deeply. Truth doesn’t need to be justified or defended. It just is, and it always rises above and rules the day.

Thank you Ashton Kutcher. For stepping up to the plate, and showing the younger generation the path to the American Dream. And thank you, Ashton Kutcher, for showing those in Hollywood that it is OK to stand up and espouse the principles of hard word, education, and generosity. Watch out though, they just might label you a Conservative for that hate speech. And isn’t that a sad thing as well. I could care less about Ashton Kutcher’s politics. He is a good decent man. But there are those that wish to silence speech like this — because it’s dangerous to their power.

Good on ya Kelso, you’ve just gained a life long fan. God Bless.