Following his adorable attempt to give high schoolers a virtual prom to replace the ones they won’t have this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, John Krasinski and his heartwarming web series “Some Good News” set out to save graduation day, too.
And with a lineup of speakers that included Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jon Stewart and Malala Yousafzai, “The Office” alum definitely set the bar very high for future high school and college commencements. Like, even the in-person ones.
On Sunday’s “Some Good News,” which you can view via the video above, Krasinski decided to invite each of those four celebs to have intimate conversations with one of the members of the Class of 2020 — a group robbed of their graduations by COVID-19 — and give them guidance about what to do next in both their lives and careers.
Of course, this was not an easy task, given the times we’re living in. But who better to inspire at a time like this than Oprah, Stewart, Spielberg and Malala?
Here are some of their pieces of advice:
Oprah Winfrey: “There have been several times in my life, Amanda, when things didn’t go the way I wanted. This is actually the most influential in my life, it was the most impactful because it was the first time. I was 22. I got this big job working in television as an anchor on the news in Baltimore. And I was placed with an older gentleman who didn’t want me to be there but I didn’t know that. I came in for the Fall of ’76. By April 1, 1977, I’m being called in by the bosses and told I’m no longer going to be needed on the news. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke…. I get demoted, I’m embarrassed, I know they are waiting to fire me. What they did was, instead of firing me, put me on the local talk show. And the day I did my first talk show, I felt like I had come home to myself. I believe that failure is an opportunity to move yourself in a different direction. It gets better, because you learn the lessons from the first time.”
Jon Stewart: “The person on Mr. Krasinski’s show before you, their question was answered by Oprah. So, I think it’s clear sometimes in life you’re gonna get the short end of the stick. You’re about to enter into a world where no one is grading you, there is none of those things that are going to be going on. Stop completing things and start living them… Learn from each opportunity that you have. Let no opportunity be too small for your time and let no opportunity be too big for your possibilities.”
Steven Spielberg: “Well, you know, dreams are a great test because dreams are going to test your resolve. And you’re going to know a dream from a pipe dream. You’re gonna know a dream from just sort of a casual brush with something that got you excited and then evaporates. A real dream is not only something that will hang on to you, but you will hang on to it. And it will power you through every obstacle that people and the environment will throw against you. Because if we are in service of our dreams versus our dreams being in service to us, it becomes something greater. It allows us to be game and allows us to get over our fear and to go forward no matter what obstacles are thrown in our path.”
Malala Yousafzai: “Regarding what I would say to my younger self, I would just tell myself, believe in your voice, continue speaking and don’t give up. And society tries to define us and tries to limit us, so I would just say do not listen to that, ignore all of that and believe in yourself and continue what you strongly believe in and what you want to do.”