Leave it to good ol’ JT to give us a little dose of inspiration. When Kobe Bryant honored Justin Timberlake with the “Decade Award,” at the Teen Choice Awards last night we felt….well first we felt really old as some of us have known this talented man since his Mickey Mouse Club days. But then we felt really inspired as we heard this 23-time TCA winner and now father give a heck of a speech to the youth of America.
He spoke of his parents teaching him the importance of respect, “My parents did their best to fill my young mind not with prejudice or hate but with compassion and love.” He continued, “I think it’s part of the reason why, to this day, I try to live my life working closely with, making music with, and spending so much of my time with an amazing group of people:
male, female, straight, gay, every walk of life … People who help each other find common ground. I was drawn to all these people not because they look like me, but because they think and feel like me,” Timberlake said. “The truth is we are all different, but that does not mean we all don’t want the same thing.”
He restated three lessons from the great Muhammad Ali who died earlier this year. The second one stuck out in particular to us. “Number two, the champ said this: service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth, so be generous, be kind, be fair. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the good thing to do. I think we all can agree that with all the tension in the world today that can divide us, we should be part of the solution and not part of the problem. You don’t have to make a difference on a global stage. You can volunteer in your neighborhood or in another neighborhood nearby where people might look a little different from you, and they might teach you a thing or two.” Perhaps the speech was meant for teens, but it was something we can all think about and appreciate.
“I’m here to say you will make mistakes along the way,” Timberlake said during his speech. “You will fall down. I have many times … so don’t waste your 20s. They’re gonna be here before you know it, and they will go fast … So go out, do the impossible and just go on and become the greatest generation yet.”