Tim McGraw had two graduates in his home this year, his daughters Maggie and Audrey, which made the commencement speech he gave for iHeartRadio's commencement speech series an extra personal one. The singer shared his message on Twitter this week, writing that it was for the Class of 2020 but also for "anyone who needs to be reminded of the power of human connection during these difficult times." Human connection was the focus of McGraw's speech, which he began by noting that this year's graduates are celebrating the milestone "at one of the most unique times in our history."
"The situation is unique, but that is also what makes it memorable," he continued. "The entire world is thinking about you, standing behind you, and wanting to support you as you enter the next phase of your journey." The Louisiana native shared that he can "personally relate" to graduates and their families this year because of Maggie and Audrey, who graduated from Stanford University in California and Ensworth High School in Nashville, respectively. "Our family joins you in the disappointment of not being able to share this moment in person as a collective event," McGraw said. He explained that while graduation this year "looks different than we all imagined," "life is often different than we imagine."
He continued: "Our current time is an extreme example of that. But no matter how difficult times may be, we adapt, we innovate, we figure it out." He later went on to share that the innovation and adaptation over the past several months has proven "what we already know: that human connection is vital."
For my daughters, the Class of 2020, and anyone who needs to be reminded of the power of human connection during these difficult times... never stop believing!! Thanks to @iHeartRadio for inviting me to be part of the commencement speech series 🎓 #iHeartClassOf2020 pic.twitter.com/khOGvwlwHf— thetimmcgraw (@TheTimMcGraw) June 17, 2020
"Graduates, you are a generation that understands community," he shared. "I see in my daughters and I see in you a passion to understand and help others; an awareness of the bigger picture of humanity; a willingness to show up for each other; a wholly elevated level of care and attention to the world and the footprint we make with it. We will get back to a new normal, and as we do, I challenge you graduates to become leaders who guide us with the beacon of human connection. Be innovative in your leadership. Be the leaders who value gathering over division, empathy over dominance, and love over fear." The father of three told graduates that their "jumping off point into adulthood is completely unprecedented" but that he believes "you are the generation best suited for it."
He continued: "You've seen what division looks like and your hunger to bring this world together is like no other," he told them, encouraging them to empower a deeper human connection "for all people" with everything they do and "watch that human connection make you better than you ever imagined." Later concluding, to "Make sure you teach others, have faith in humanity, trust in yourselves, be the person people can count on, and believe there is good in everyone. [...] When life proves you wrong, don’t stop believing. Never ever stop believing."