Words of wisdom from an unusual source.














In view of today being a holiday here in Canada, here’s a light post, inspired by one of the newsletters I read regularly.

I am not a celebrity follower, as a baby boomer, if asked to name a famous actor or actress, I would probably think of Sean Connery or Sophia Loren. I do recognise some of the current popular names, but generally do not have the slightest interest in their pronouncements on subjects like climate change, oil sands, fracking or genetically modified crops.

It is a source of wonder to me that huge numbers of educated people believe every word spoken by attention seeking celebrities who have become rich and famous for their good looks, acting or athletic ability, but condemn others who have become successful through hard work, perseverance and risk taking in the business world without the gift of those natural blessings.

Is it any wonder that many people view celebrities attempts to save the world, feed the children, create instant rainbow families by adopting orphans from every nation, stop fracking and protect endangered frogs with a degree of cynicism?

Easy to generalise and there are exceptions, celebrities who do good work without using it as a photo opportunity. Stars who have overcome adversity, succeeded through hard work, determination and grit.

Today’s post is about one of those exceptions, and one if I am honest, I knew little about, but by virtue of his profession and the odd reference to him I had noticed in the media, had written off as yet another spoiled, publicity seeking actor.

For several years, I have been a regular reader of John Forde’s Copywriters Round Table newsletter. A rich source of ideas, inspiration and wit for all writers.

In last week’s issue, he included the speech that Chris Kutcher gave at the Teen Choice Awards in 2013.

The name did not ring a bell for me until reading further I noticed that “Chris” is better known as “Ashton”. Knowing that John Forde did not usually publish frivolous material, I overcame my initial reaction of disinterest in references to celebrities. I am glad I did.

Here is the speech: Here is the link to coverage of it on rapgenius in case, like me, you are sceptical.

“My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. And – and – it always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor.

But there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys, because I think it’s helped me be here today.

So it’s really 3 things.

The first thing is about opportunity, the second thing is about being sexy and the third thing is about living life.

So first the opportunity. I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work… When I was 13 I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof. And then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant. And then I got a job in grocery store deli. And then I got a job in factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And ever job that 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 look a lot like work.
Number two: being sexy.

The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap! I promise you! It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.

The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs.

And Steve Jobs said: When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family.

But life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. 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 – find your opportunity, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”

It’s a good message for teens and all ages, much better than another diatribe about the latest hashtagged cause of the day. .

What messages do you broadcast?

Peter Wright




graphic courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / freedigitalphotos.net

, build one – find your opportunity, and always be sexy. I love you guys.

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