Last night, along with 43 million other people, I watched the Oscars, an annual event for me. I revel in the celebration of film and great performances, homages to Hollywood icons, and of course, the emotional acceptance speeches. I’m a sucker for those even if I have no idea who the person is or what they just won for. The genuine surprise and joy on each winner’s face always gets me.
But last night, something happened that I hadn’t seen or heard in a long time in an acceptance speech. I’m not talking about the beautifully spontaneous performance by Darlene Love when “20 Feet from Stardom” won best documentary or Lupita Nyong’o’s continued charm and eloquence or even the adorable rhyming speech from the writers of “Let It Go” from Frozen.
I’m talking about Matthew McConaughey thanking God.
It’s been awhile since I’ve heard an acceptance speech for a major award to give thanks to God. It surprised me. As someone with faith, it’s become noticeably harder to be open about it. Having or being apart of a faith is often viewed as backwards. To be willing to accept the idea that there is a higher or supreme being is now often looked upon as a shortfall in your intellect. And let’s not even discuss what the connotations are if you say you’re part of an “organized religion”. That’s why hearing McConaughey first and foremost thank God was such a refreshing change of pace. To see someone on that big of a stage openly talk about his faith, without fear of judgement or reproach, was wonderful to see after so long.
All of us have different ideas of how the universe works and what our purpose here is. It’s those differences that make our time here that much more interesting and exciting. Because we get to learn and grow. We don’t have to all agree but we do have to understand. It’s what being human is all about. And it was nice to see that tapestry of human experiences be fully represented again last night.