”I’m so inspired and moved by this moment. I’m grateful,” media mogul Tyler Perry said during his 2020 People’s Choice Awards acceptance speech.
The 51-year-old writer, director, and actor, was honored with the People’s Champion Award, which was presented to him by Tiffany Haddish this past Sunday. In honor of his accomplishment, Perry uses his real-life experiences to emphasize the importance of perseverance.
He started his speech by saying, “When I think about all these people, these underdogs, some former prisoners in jail for 20 years, one in jail for seven, they always inspire me,” Perry said after he was surprised by the Tyler Perry Studios staff who appeared virtually before his speech. “So when this pandemic hit I knew I needed to do all I could to make sure they could continue in this great place that they’re headed towards in their lives, in their marriages, businesses that they started for themselves, and their own companies and their houses, sending their kids to school.”
Perry elaborated on a life lesson that he learned from an engineer who helped him dig a well at his Atlanta home. “Why am I telling you this, why am I talking about digging for water? In this world, we’re all digging wells. In our lives, we’re digging wells. We’re digging wells in relationships, where we put all this time and effort and energy, and sometimes it doesn’t give us what we need. We put all our time, energy, and dreams in our business and it doesn’t give us what we need or what we were after. But if you just keep digging, my God if you could just hear me right now, just keep digging,” he said. Although the story happened about 18-years ago, the lesson that it provided stuck with him throughout his journey.
“You may be four inches away from every gift and every blessing that you ever wanted in your life. Had I given up, when I was homeless, when I was sleeping in my car, when I was hungry, had I given up, these people that you see on this screen right now would not be a part of my dream. There are people who are tied to your dream and your destiny, and you are worthy of getting to your goal. Keep digging, don’t stop,” Perry shared.
“When you get there, when you get to that water and you see it coming and you know what you need, this is what I always want you to remember, make sure everybody that you run into meets you at your worth,” he concluded.
Watch the full speech below:
For a full list of the winners from the award show, click HERE.