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Jim Carrey Delivers Inspiring Commencement Speech at Management College

This year’s commencement exercises at the Maharishi School of Management in Fairfield, Iowa was given by the actor Jim Carrey, who has established himself as a giant both in comedy in drama with movies such as “Bruce Almighty”, “Liar, Liar”, “Yes Man”, “The Majestic” and most recently, “Kick Ass 2”. For the school, which is located in rural Iowa, the presence of the very highly esteemed actor at their commencement ceremony was very well appreciated. The trend of asking personalities known in other fields has been one that is isolated primarily in schools within city districts and usually ivy league institutions, at that—for example, J.K. Rowling’s commencement speech at Harvard and John Legend’s speech at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Carrey was chosen by the school’s faculty and staff as the speaker at this year’s graduation because of his practice of Transcendental Meditation—something which is taught at the Maharishi School to all of its students. Furthermore, Jim Carrey is the President and Founder of The Better U Foundation, which helps rural farmers attain financial and food security. The school administration says that they believed Mr. Carrey was the perfect person to talk to their students about what to expect from the real world, himself being someone whose success is a product of hard work and perseverance.

In his inspiring commencement speech, Jim Carrey gives the graduating class of 2014 some very inspiring, if rather unconventional advice. Moving away from the usual adages of talking about success, achievement and taking on the world, Mr. Carrey talked about far more fundamental values: he talked about love. The actor told the Maharishi School of Management class that the one thing that they need to do to win at life is to choose love over everything—he said that the only way to triumph over fear and the other challenges in this world is to love the people in their lives as well as their passions with everything that they’ve got, even when it’s difficult.

Further deviating from his Hollywood success and the usual glamour associated with tinsel town, Mr. Carrey went onto talk about his hopes that more young people these days would realize that their physical, material wealth only comes from their wealth within. In keeping with the transcendental theme surrounding the graduation, he states his belief that the spirit and body are separate entities which overlap: he reminds the class of 2014 to pay attention to the indicators of success both within them and around them—as people who are going to be involved in business and management, they should pay attention not just to the figures and to the statistics but the important questions like are you happy and do you love what you’re doing?

He talks about the need to view fear in a new light: that it will always be a big part of one’s life but that it shouldn’t be allowed to govern one’s judgments and decisions. Furthermore, Mr. Carrey goes on to say that the most common disguise which fear takes is practicality—not to say that practicality isn’t important but that a lot of people grow up and choose “practicality” without knowing that what they’re really choosing is the fearful choice. The actor, who was once rejected by numerous comedy clubs and organizations before he got his big break in the early 90s, urges this year’s graduates to follow their hearts.

Mr. Carrey ended his speech by acknowledging that failure in life is inevitable but that it is worth it if you fail in the interest of eventually succeeding at what you love. The students applauded Jim Carrey’s inspiring commencement speech, some of the students getting teary-eyed and others smiling widely as they listened to what the actor had to say.

The commencement exercises were held on school grounds last May 28th.



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