Matt Damon, who famously played an MIT student in “Good Will Hunting,” got to give the school’s commencement speech on June 3.
Damon, who has been active in many causes throughout his life, encouraged graduates to face the problems of the world head-on.
But he said there’s really only one way to do that.
“In my experience, there’s no substitute for actually going and seeing these things,” Damon told the graduating class of 2016.
He said that when he was young, his mum took him on various trips around the world, which changed his perspective on the world’s problems. He talked about a few of his experiences in the speech, such as meeting a little girl in Africa, which inspired him to start water.org.
“Seeing the world and its problems and its possibilities heightened our disbelief that so many people can’t get a safe, clean drink of water,” Damon said. “You see some tough things out there. But you also see life-changing joy, and it all changes you.”
He also explained that it’s important to meet new people and hear their stories.
He mentioned another experience he had, in which he met a refugee whose optimism touched him.
“Human beings will take your breath away. They will teach you so much. But you have to engage. I only had that experience because I went there myself,” Damon said.
Watch the powerful speech here (the excerpt mentioned starts around minute 11):