MANILA, Philippines – Trust Tom Hanks to be able to inspire even in the midst of a global pandemic.
The actor recently gave a speech addressed to the 2020 graduates of Wright State University in the United States, but the 5-minute message could just as easily be for all young people all over the world who are just about to start their adult lives as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.
Tom, who recently recovered from the coronavirus himself, called the class of 2020 “the chosen ones.”
“You are the chosen ones because of a fate unimagined when you began your Wright State adventures. You started in the olden times, in the world back before the great pandemic of 2020. You will talk of the earlier years in your lives just that way, ‘well that was back before the COVID-19. That was before the great pandemic,'” he said in a video posted on the university’s YouTube channel on May 2.
“Part of your lives will forever be identified as ‘before,’ in the same way other generations tell time like ‘well that was before the war,’ or ‘that was before the internet,’ or ‘that was before Beyonce.’ The word ‘before’ is going to carry great weight,” the actor said.
He said that the new graduates finished at a time when they are not only expected to be Americans, but to be responsible Americans, good citizens who do what it takes to save lives.
“Some time, if we all remain good Americans, you will continue on into the after. As in – that was ‘after the virus was tamed,’ ‘after we were safe to go out again,’ ‘after we took up our probable lives once more.’ But your ‘after’ is not going to look the same as your ‘during,’ or as your ‘before,'” he said.
“You will have seen the movie and you will know how it ends. You will be enlightened in ways your degree from Wright State never held in promise. You will have made it through the time of great sacrifice and great need and no one will be more fresh to the task of restarting our measure of normalcy than you, you chosen ones,” he continued.
Hanks said that unlike older generations, they are not returning to a starting point that they’ve already passed – they are approaching it for the first time.
“You’ve just arrived. You are chosen in that way to enter into the competition of life just when so many have had to recover and refresh and restart and reawajen and to retake up the hard work and the unshirkable responsibilities of making the world not onlky our own but of your own,” he said.
He ended his speech by congratulating them, saying, “the future is always uncertain, but we who celebrate what you have done, who celebrate all of your achievements, we are certian of one thing on this day: you will not let us down.” – Rappler.com