Oscar-winning actor and director Robert Redford reminded graduates at Maine’s Colby College the world is a “grim” place Sunday, before asking them to be fearless.
The 78-year-old was asked to deliver the 194th commencement address to the school’s 2015 graduating class, a student body that included his grandson, according to his opening remarks.
After explaining his failure to be a “good student,” Redford said, “Don’t be afraid to take a risk, don’t be afraid of failure, be bold.”
The actor was honored with a fine art doctorate; prior to explaining he feels the world needs more “collaboration and connection.”
“This school has provided you with the tools and it’s provided you with the history to go out in the world and make a difference,” he said.
Redford encouraged the pupils to take society’s challenges as they come, as he addressed a group of thousands more.
“You’re stepping into a world that’s, well, pretty rough. It’s pretty chaotic, pretty divisive,” he said to 483 new graduates. “You’ve got climate change, you’ve got debt, you’ve got wars, you’ve got political paralysis. It’s kind of a grim story. But the story, I think, can be retold, and I really believe that you’re the ones to do it.”
He then warned students must “collaborate” with the planet, before explaining the dangers of “narrow-minded” political thinking.
Listen to Redford’s entire speech below: