Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has proven he’s the whole package. As a pro wrestler, we all knew him as The Rock.
When he started diving into acting, many of us seemed a little surprised. However, he’s quickly become one of the most sought-out actors in Hollywood. And as a bonus, he seems like a nice, personable guy.
He’s also into leadership and has helped out plenty of young leaders throughout the country. One of the most recent is Lorraine Angelakos.
Lorraine took the time to write Dwayne Johnson a letter. In it, she asked the star if he’d be willing to speak to her graduating class at Pompano Beach High School in Florida.
While these arrangements are typically made by the school, it’s been a crazy year in terms of ceremonies. Plus, most celebrities are staying at home for their own safety. If there was ever a year to reach out individually, this would be it.
Lorraine’s letter touched on a video that Dwayne made earlier for his fans. In it, he asked the question, “Where are you?”
“Where is that leader? Where is our leader who would step up to our country at this time, when our country is on its knees?” Johnson’s latest video reiterated. “I received a letter that gave me my answer.”
“Like you, I believe the same: As one door closes, another one opens,” Dwayne said, reading directly from Lorraine’s thoughtful letter. “You just have to have the drive and willpower to go through that next door and give it your all.” He then said that the letter from Lorraine was more than what he expected.
“When I received this letter, it knocked me off my feet,” he admitted. “It’s not what Lorraine is saying; it’s how she’s saying it.” Dwayne continued reading the letter, which was very maturely written. Lorraine seems to have a good head on her shoulders when she looks at her future, as well as the future of her peers.
“Some students will be making their way to college and some won’t, some will be hitting the workforce,” the letter continued. “All of us have dreams and aspirations. I consider you an inspiration to our youth, to help remind us that hard work, positivity and perseverance will pay off no matter how hard the road might seem.”
And that’s when Dwayne reached the part where Lorraine asked him to speak to her class. “Most commencement speakers and celebrities are sought for after you complete college, but I think the time is now in your senior year when some students won’t have that luxury to attend college,” the letter said. “With the help of someone like you, you can inspire them. They deserve it now with you as their inspiration.”
At that moment, Dwayne reflected on the letter. “You’re absolutely right,” he said. “It’s the high school seniors. Lorraine, I would have done this for free. I would’ve traveled around the world twice and back just to come and speak to you guys during graduation. I would’ve been there.”
But Dwayne said there was something in particular about the letter that made it a must-read. According to the actor, Lorraine included a line that stated, “As part of a good faith request, I have enclosed seven bucks as a downpayment for your services.” It may not be much, but it’s something.
And the amount in general makes sense. If you’re a big fan of Dwayne Johnson, you might remember that he started in the industry with just $7 to his name. So it’s apparent that Lorraine did her research. She knew The Rock was just the guy to ask to speak to her graduating class.
Dwayne did have some kind and endearing words to share with the class. “Lorraine, you and your fellow graduates … you guys are our empathetic compassionate leaders who are going to lead us, who are going to be the ones responsible that we as adults are having a little challenging time right now answering,” he said.
“You guys are the ones who are going to normalize equality,” he added. “We’re going to build a pathway, that’s my accountability, myself and others we’re going to build that pathway. You guys are going to make sure it happens and that it stays that way forever.”
“Always put your money where your heart is,” he said. “Your heart, your mana and your instinct will always be your North Star.” Then he stated that the $7 he received from Lorraine would be invested in her name. It seems like Dwayne Johnson always knows the right things to say.
He concluded the speech much like he would a graduation commencement. “We all must become the leaders that we’re looking for,” he stated. “To all the graduates of 2020, congratulations, thank you for being our leaders. We got this.” So technically, it’s almost like Dwayne spoke to everyone. Perhaps online graduation speeches are the way to go in the future.
As for Dwayne, he’s truly got an encouraging backstory that’s inspiring for both kids and adults. When speaking to an audience about his success story, he often uses a line that everyone can relate to. “I knew two things: I was dead broke, and one day I wouldn’t be,” he states.
From there, he became a professional wrestler, oddly following in the footsteps of his father. His father, Rocky Johnson, was a professional wrestler in Canada and was also the first black Georgia Heavyweight Champion. He died this January at the age of 75. While Rocky was an incredible athlete, he didn’t expand his career the way that Dwayne did.
As an individual, Dwayne Johnson proves that anything is possible. Sometimes, your life path just seems to fall in your lap when you least expect it. But he also knows what makes a leader — and his wise words have often been a great motivator for many young leaders and innovators today.