Last week, the world discovered that Chadwick Boseman, an actor best known for portraying The Black Panther, died at the age of 43 after a 4-year battle with cancer. He played a superhero and legends on the screen, but as we learn more about him and his life, we realize he was a heroic icon himself. While he battled cancer and underwent treatments, he visited sick children in hospitals and continued to film movies without revealing his illness.
Chadwick Boseman used his gifts and talent to make a positive impact in the world. He found his purpose and pursued it with a passion. Below is an excerpt from a 2018 commencement speech he gave at Howard University where he speaks about his struggles in pursuit of his purpose (the full speech can be found at Howard University’s channel on YouTube)…May Chadwick Boseman’s life and words inspire you to think about your purpose and your own pursuit of using your talents and gifts to best serve the world.
“Sometimes you need to feel the pain and sting of defeat to activate the real passion and purpose that God predestined inside of you. God says in Jeremiah, ‘I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’… when you have reached the hilltop and you are deciding on next jobs, next steps, careers, further education, you would rather find purpose than a job or career.
Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember, the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose. When I dared to challenge the system that would relegate us to victims and stereotypes with no clear historical backgrounds, no hopes or talents, when I questioned that method of portrayal, a different path opened up for me, the path to my destiny.
When God has something for you, it doesn’t matter who stands against it. God will move someone that’s holding you back away from the door and put someone there who will open it for you if it’s meant for you. I don’t know what your future is, but if you are willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes, the one that has ultimately proven to have more meaning, more victory, more glory then you will not regret it. Now, this is your time. The light of new realizations shines on you today. [Howard’s] legacy is not wrapped up in the money that you will make but the challenges that you choose to confront. As you commence to your paths, press on with pride, and press on with purpose”.Chadwick Boseman, excerpt from 2018 Howard University Commencement speech
RIP, Chadwick Boseman. We are thankful you pursued your purpose, inspiring generations.