Tom Hanks Delivers Harvard Commencement: “Truth Is Sacred”
Already one of the most decorated and acclaimed actors in film history, Tom Hanks added another achievement to his resume when he delivered the commencement address at the University’s graduation. from Harvard on Thursday.
The two-time Oscar winner, who received an honorary doctorate of arts from the prestigious school, opened his speech with a joke about how he never had to study for his degree, alluding to his role of fictional Harvard professor Robert Langdon in “The Da Vinci Code” films.
“It’s not fair, but please don’t be embittered by this fact,” Hanks joked.
“Now, without having done any work, without having spent any time in class, without having once entered this library, in order to have anything to do with the promotion of Harvard, its faculty or its distinguished alumni students, I make a damn good living playing someone who did.
Hanks, who reminded the audience that he spent two years at the Chabot Community of California and attended California State University, Sacramento for two semesters, then immersed himself in a speech rich in superhero references, with multiple mentions of “truth, justice and the American way”. ”
“We could all use a superhero right now,” he said at one point.
The ‘Forrest Gump’ star, who also received a volleyball from school – a reference to Wilson in ‘Cast Away’ – has continued to focus on truth as an important part of our lives which is threatened.
“Because the truth, for some, is no longer empirical. It’s no longer based on data, or common sense, or even common decency,” he said.
“Telling the truth is no longer the benchmark for public service. It is no longer the balm for our fears or the guide to our actions. Truth is now seen as malleable, by opinion, by zero-sum endgames,” he explained. “Imagery is boldly fabricated, with the aim of accomplishing the all-important task of marring the truth with false logic to be achieved with false expertise, with false sincerity.”
Hanks continued to stress the importance of the truth while lamenting how many people are “playing fast and loose” with her and how “indifference” is her enemy.
“Every day, every year and for every promotion, there is a choice to be made,” he said.
“It’s the same option for all adults who must decide to be one of three types of Americans – those who embrace freedom and freedom for all, those who don’t, or those who are indifferent. Only the former do the work of creating a more perfect union, an indivisible nation. The others get in the way.”
The actor then shared some powerful words about standing up for what’s right.
“In the endless battle that you all officially joined from today, the difference is how you truly believe, how vehemently you promote, how strongly you stand the truth that is obvious: that of course we are all created the same but differently, and of course we are all in this together,” he said.
As his speech drew to a close, Hanks reminded the graduates of the need to safeguard the truth.
“If you live in the United States of America, the responsibility is yours. Ours. The effort is optional, but the truth is sacred, unalterable, set in stone from the foundation of our republic,” he said. he declares.