With the Brit Awards, Grammys, NAACP’s Image Awards and Oscars having recently taken place, aside from the wardrobe choices and live performances, the element I most look forward to is the acceptance speeches. What I find most enriching and engaging about the speeches is the humility, gratitude and hope the recipients express. Watching the winners stand in front of their fellow nominees, peers and family, and accept recognition for their artistry, innovation, and persistence is both moving and inspiring.
A speech that stood out to me during this awards season was from acting veteran and everyones Mum’s MCM, Denzel Washington. His NAACP Outstanding Actor acceptance speech held great weight, celebrated others in the field while revisiting the ever so necessary message that success doesn’t work for itself, you have to work for it:
“Never give up, without commitment you’ll never start, and more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish. It's not easy. If it were easy, there'd be no Kerry Washington. If it were easy, there'd be no Taraji P Henson. If it were easy, there'd be no Octavia Spencer. But not only that, if it were easy, there'd be no Viola Davis. If it were easy, there'd be no Michael T. Williamson. No Stephen McKinley Henderson. No Russell Hornsby. If it were easy, there'd be no Denzel Washington. So, keep working. Keep striving. Never give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. So, keep moving, keep growing, keep learning. See you at work.”
Denzel Washington is a true example of excellence, craftsmanship and integrity. This month of March, In Other News are honouring some men who have employed a huge amount of effort to be authentically great in their respective professions, have looked to women for inspiration but have ultimately kept striving, kept growing, and have fallen down seven times and got up eight.