The Wisdom of Chris Pratt

The recipient of MTV's Generation Award shares his insights on God, your soul, and more.

Chris Pratt received the Generation Award during MTV's Movie & TV Awards Monday evening. The star of 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy', and the 'Jurassic World' franchise took the stage to offer his nine life rules for the next generation. Pratt first thanked his family (his father passed away in 2014 from multiple sclerosis), and noted that they grew up "without a pot to piss in" but that they "laughed their butts off every day" (and still do).

Peppered with humor, humility, and even some sound scatological advice, here are Pratt's nine life rules for the next generation (emphasis added):

  1. Breathe. If you don't, you will suffocate.
  2. You have a soul. Be careful with it.
  3. Don't be a turd. In this real world, it's illegal to slap people. Don't take advantage of that fact. If you're strong, be a protector and if you're smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons, and do not wield them against the weak! That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.
  4. When giving a dog medicine, put the medicine in a little piece of hamburger. They won't even know they're eating medicine!
  5. Doesn't matter what it is, earn it. It feels good. Five bucks earned is better than ten bucks given to you every time. If you feel like crap, look at your life: What do you have that you didn't earn? Do something to earn it. A good deed, reach out to someone in pain, be of service; it feels good and it's good for your soul.
  6. God is real. God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do.
  7. If you have to poop at a party, but you’re embarrassed, because you’re going to stink up the bathroom, just do what I do: Lock the door, sit down, get all the pee out first, okay? And then, once all the pee’s done, poop, flush, boom. You minimize the amount of time that the poop is touching the air, because if you poop first, it take you longer to pee, then you’re peeing on top and it’s stirring it up, the poop particles create a cloud, goes out, and then everyone in the party will know that you pooped. Just trust me, it’s science.
  8. Learn to pray. It’s easy, and it’s so good for your soul. You just close your eyes, you list off people for which you are grateful, ask for protection for the people you love. You don’t ask God to help you win the big game or anything, just ask him for the strength to accept the outcome, no matter what. Pray. Don’t be embarrassed by it. You let people see you do it, it’s good for their soul, too.
  9. Nobody is perfect. Nobody. None of us, not you. People are going to tell you you’re perfect just the way you are — you’re not! You are imperfect. You always will be. But, there is a powerful force that designed you that way. And it loves you, it accepts you for exactly who you are. It forgives you for your flaws no matter what they are. And if you’re willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. And like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood — do not forget it. Don’t take it for granted. It’s a gift for which none of us are worthy, so do your best to earn it. Just be kind, don’t be a bully, be of service, do not be a turd.

What a refreshing breath of fresh air. Chris Pratt has never been shy about his faith. When filmmaker Kevin Smith suffered a heart attack, Pratt offered prayers (and came under fire for it). It rings genuine and central to who he is; it's not an act or a facade. Remember that part about being a "humble influencer"...that's what Pratt's doing. It should be inspiring to the rest of us who are Christian to follow his example when it comes to sharing what we believe...that we can share and live that faith without being humorless scolds or looking down our noses on those who don't believe as we do. As someone who grew up, like Pratt, "without a pot to piss in," and who has worked like he has, to make life better for her children, I can tell you earning what you have is three things: 1) very, very rewarding, 2) utterly exhausting, and 3) so worth it. How wonderful it is to also be reminded that we have a higher purpose than this world, a soul, and that "powerful force" who made and loves us, warts and all; and how comforting to remember to pray for strength, regardless of what life throws at us.

Chris Pratt is such a likeable, down-to-earth guy and the perfect person to deliver this funny, but hopeful and wise message. There is no pretentiousness, no arrogance in what he says or how he says it. The audience hears his message, and we should, too.

Thank you, Chris.

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