“Ashton is preaching!” My 16-year-old niece declared a few seconds into Ashton Kutcher’s acceptance speech during the MTV’s Teen Choice Awards. Until that point the show had just been a garble of background noise offering evening entertainment for “The Niece” and, my 17-year-old son, “The Boy.”
But Kutcher definitely surprised me, and I’m sure many others, by totally dropping some real and responsible words of wisdom into the young and impressionable minds of his adoring fans.
At 35 Kutcher is certainly considered ancient by most teens. But fortunately his cool factor is still in full effect. He scored the Ultimate Teen Choice Award and used his speech to drive home three ridiculously responsible points.
First – “Opportunity looks a lot like work.” Translation, when you are blessed with an opportunity it’s up to you to work your tail off to allow that opportunity to move you to the next level. Second – “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart.” You can “twerk” your brains out but it probably won’t get you a scholarship. And third he told the youngsters – “…to build a life” not live one!
My eyes darted from the “The Niece” to “The Boy.” Shut up! Both had momentarily stopped “texting, tweeting, instagramming and lap-topping” and listened as Kutcher continued to lob wisdom bombs. He said, “…every job I had was a stepping stone I had to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job.” Then he hit them over the head with, “Life can be a lot broader … when you realize one simple thing: And that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you,” he continued. “And you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one. Build one. Find your opportunity, and always be sexy.” Good stuff!
When all was said and done “The Boy” and “The Niece” offered brief nods of approval and then promptly resumed “texting, tweeting, instagramming and lap-topping.” No comments. No conversation. Nothing. That’s okay. I’m not falling for the teenage Jedi-mind-trick. They listened and I’m sure they logged the pearls of wisdom somewhere in their teenage brains for later and, I hope, repeated use.
Check out Ashton’s speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuBSRC1zpHw