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John Krasinski To Brown University Graduates: 'Real Change Is Organic'04:30
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Actor John Krasinski delivers Brown University's baccalaureate address at the 2019 commencement ceremony. (Screenshot via YouTube/Brown University)
Actor John Krasinski delivers Brown University's baccalaureate address at the 2019 commencement ceremony. (Screenshot via YouTube/Brown University)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Actor John Krasinski delivered Brown University's baccalaureate address at the 2019 commencement on Saturday.

"The future does indeed belong to you, but the abstract weighted responsibility to change it overnight very much does not,” Krasinski said. "Real change is organic. The only responsibility you all have is to hold fast to everything you have lived, right here. To not conform, to realize that when you’re out there, you’ve done all this before."

Partial Transcription Of John Krasinski's 2019 Brown University Baccalaureate Address

For the next four years, I wanted to be a part of it all. I formed a new way of thinking, a new way of executing those thoughts. I leapt out of my comfort zone, then stayed there, and then leapt again. I experienced firsthand the powerful shift of doing something out of love, rather than out of necessity. I learned what it meant to believe. I took chances, I failed, and I took more chances. So yes, in the classroom I received one of the greatest educations one can possibly get. True. But the piece of paper I got at graduation also represents that education. The piece of paper I got not only says where I was educated but who I was educated with. And it declares that I am a member of that community of people to be relied upon to take risks, provoke thought and to be committed participants in this world. The piece of paper I got represented every facet of my experience. And, the piece of paper I got is the exact same piece of paper you’re going to get tomorrow.

The piece of paper I got, I live my life every single day by, because when looking at this sense of nervousness that you’re feeling now, ask yourself, "What’s it based in?" Is it based in the unknown? Because my question to you is, up until now, how have you approached each new tomorrow? And if your nerves are based in fear of failure, well my question is, up until now, how have you defined success? Because in this community, without the presence of financial gain, isn’t success simply defined as you’re just being on to something? Taking an idea farther than it’s ever been before? Why does it ever need to change? It doesn’t. Or, if your nerves are based in something bigger, a fear of something bigger, the world at large, well, to that I do say, "Yes, it’s true, they’re right."

The future does indeed belong to you. But the abstract way to responsibility to change it overnight very much does not. Real change is organic. The only responsibility you all have is to hold fast to everything that you have lived, right here. To not conform, to realize that when you’re out there, you’ve done all this before. Right in here. Remember fondly the discomfort you felt when you were asked to push yourself farther than you were ever sure you could go. And the wash of elation when you finally got there. Remember to be scared. You’ve been scared before, you’ll be scared again. Find more of your people. Lean all the way in. Take chances. Fail big and take chances again. Listen to music. Remember to believe in something. And fall in love as many times as it takes. And remember, before you do something special, just do something. The truth can almost seem too simple, but the simple truth is, the program you ran here is the same program. Just run it again, and again, and again. That’s what I know. Thank you to this class, to this institution, it is my honor. Thank you.

Grace Tatter produced this segment for broadcast.

This segment aired on May 30, 2019.

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