10 Lessons to Take Away From The Beyoncé Commencement Speech
“Congratulations to the class of 2020. You have arrived here in the middle of a global crisis, a racial pandemic, and worldwide outrage.” This is how our queen of queens opened her commencement speech, today, on YouTube. It is a crazy time, but we can always count on Beyoncé to put our thoughts and feelings into words. Here are 10 lessons to take away from the most motivational commencement speech in the history of commencement speeches.
1. Change starts with you
In light of recent events, Beyoncé reminds us that change starts with ourselves. The class of 2020 will forever change the world with the knowledge we obtained. We should be authentic and celebrate individuality by investing in ourselves. And education is a great place to start with that.
2. When you don’t have a seat at the table, build your own!
Just like Beyoncé had to fight for her position in the male-dominated music industry, we might also at times find ourselves struggling for recognition. But don’t worry. When you don’t have a seat at the table, “chop that wood and build your own table!”
3. There are many ways to be brilliant
“You don’t have to look a certain way to be brilliant. And no, you don’t have to speak a certain way to be brilliant. But you do have to spread your gift around the world in a way that is authentically, you.” This is a beautiful reminder of how we are all brilliant, unique, and excellent individuals. There is no one way to be excellent, each of us has the ability to let our voices be heard and shine our light onto the world.
4. You are beautiful
While you’re building your own table, start building your own stage. “If you’re part of a group called ‘other’, a group that does not get to be centerstage, build your own stage. And make them see you.” We are all beautiful the way we are, and we deserve to be centerstage: “Your queerness is beautiful. Your blackness is beautiful. Your compassion, your understanding, your fight for people who may be different from you, is beautiful.”Embed from Getty Images
5. Respect is anything
“There is no successful relationship without respect. Nor a successful movement, if the basic principle is not respect. The world respects you as much as you respect yourself.” Especially in these times, when many of us are faced with hatred and despise, we must remember ourselves to be respectful. To others, but also to ourselves.
6. Losing is the best motivator
Although Beyoncé won 24 Grammy’s, she also lost 46. Instead of seeing this as an ultimate failure, she uses her losses as a motivation to work harder. “Please don’t feel entitled to win, just keep working harder. Surrender to the cards you are dealt. From that surrender, you get your power.”
7. Growth is a work in process
You will be at your happiest when you realize that you are a work in process. “Let go and allow life to show you your next move. When you bet on yourself, you make an investment in your own future.” Invest in something positive, so your return will match that same energy.
8. There is power in the collective
Relating to the current events, Beyoncé reminds us to look at what we have accomplished over the last 14 days. “Look what happens when we join for the same cause. Please continue to be the voice for the voiceless.” Let this be our motivation to keep pushing for our collective goals: justice, equality, and freedom for all.Embed from Getty Images
9. Stay focused
Find hope and follow it. “You are never alone. Lean on that strength of togetherness. Keep that collective strong. Stay focused. Don’t talk about what you’re gonna do, don’t dream about what you’re gonna do, don’t criticize somebody else for what they’re not doing, you, be it. Be about it. Be about that action and go do it.
10. Be a leader
Mrs. Knowles-Carter closes her speech by reminding us that we can be the leaders of tomorrow; the leaders of the movement. “Class of 2020. Every thought in your mind is powerful, and every word you speak is powerful. Every action you take has consequences for yourself and your community.”
Class of 2020, we did it. Congratulations.
Suggested read: The Class of 2020