Be nice to your parents! Seriously, though, that’s what Justin Timberlake wants you to do.
On Sunday night, J.T. was honoured with the Decade Award at the 2016 Teen Choice Awards.
Basketball legend Kobe Bryant came out of retirement to present the award to the pop icon. While this was Timberlake’s 23rd Teen Choice Award — which is pretty impressive if you ask us — it seems that being on that stage still hasn’t lost any of its magic.
The 35-year-old father of one used his time in the spotlight to give a powerful, heartfelt message to teenagers everywhere.
“As a former teen, a while ago, who’s made a few choices along the way, I’m here to tell you that you and your choices matter,” he began with a smile.
“I grew up in Millington, Tenn., just outside of Memphis, where I was blessed to be raised by parents and a family who taught me some big lessons. They taught me to respect them. They taught me to respect myself and to respect all people on the basis of their character — not where they live, not what they did for a living, or the colour of their skin."
He then shifted his focus to lessons that could be learned from his own life to lessons that could be learned from others, or, more specifically, Muhammad Ali.
"Muhammad Ali fought in the ring, but he fought for peace, too. And he became the heavyweight champion of the world because, as we all know, he could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Our world lost that champ this year, so tonight, I want to share three pieces of his undying wisdom that has helped me and may help you along your journey,” Timberlake explained.
“Number one — Champ said this: ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count.’ Pretty good. Now you are young, as I once was, but do not think for a moment that what you do doesn’t count. It does. Not just to you, but also to the world and your generation, who will someday inherit this world from old-timers like me and Kobe,” Timberlake, who is married to Jessica Biel, said with a laugh.
“Number two, the Champ said this: ‘Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.’ So be generous, be kind, be fair. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the good thing to do,” he continued.
“I think we all can agree that with all the tension in the world today that can divide us, we should be part of the solution and not part of the problem. You don’t have to make a difference on a global stage. You can volunteer in your neighbourhood or in another neighbourhood nearby where people might look a little different from you, and they might teach you a thing or two.”