Sunday night was the Teen Choice Awards broadcast on FOX. Yeah, I’m sure you meant to watch it, but you were probably busy sorting laundry, labeling school supplies, or doing absolutely anything else in the world. No, the Teen Choice Awards are not generally designed for parental viewing, but this year’s awards delivered something unexpected that I think you should take notice of — you and your kids. Ashton Kutcher, of That 70’s Show, Demi Moore, movies, and Two and a Half Men replacement fame, won an award. What award? … Oh please, I didn’t watch that closely. The award doesn’t matter though, what mattered was his acceptance speech, which coincidentally was about what matters in life. Since I care about you I won’t make you watch the broadcast reply. You’re welcome. Frankly, all of the teenage girls screaming in the background take away from the importance of the speech anyway. Instead I have boiled it down to 6 specific Ashton Kutcher quotes that are definitely worth your time and attention.
Call Me Chris 1 of 7
"My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name's Chris. 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."
Hard Work 2 of 7
"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..."
Respect the Job 3 of 7
"...And then I got a job in factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. I've never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job."
Stepping Stone 4 of 7
"And every 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."
Generous is the New Sexy 5 of 7
"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."
Smart People 6 of 7
"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."
Build a Life 7 of 7
"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."
Now I’m no fool. I understand that Ashton Kutcher has a new movie coming out, Jobs, and therefore, his attendance at the Teen Choice awards show was a very well orchestrated publicity event. But the Ashton Kutcher quotes, a la Jobs or not, have residual value and a whole lot of merit. Who knows, maybe your chid will grow up to be an Ashton, but you gotta hope that if he does, like Ashton, he’ll never forget that he started out as a Chris.
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