In an unusual speech, the comedian turned philosopher Carrey explains how "suffering leads to salvation."
Better known for his role as Hollywood’s funnyman, Jim Carrey took to the microphone to address and inspire a more unusual audience at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles back in June. And now, this video of his speech is going viral:
In the speech, posted on YouTube, the actor opened up about his thoughts on forgiveness and grace in a motivating talk to former gang members who are trying to turn their lives around and give back to their communities.
An impressive 10,000 “formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated” men and women cross the doors of Homeboy Industries each year, wanting to effect a positive change in their lives. This is obviously no mean feat and Carrey acknowledges this by talking of the challenges he’s faced himself, describing to the former inmates how “suffering leads to salvation.”
The actor also explains to the audience his feelings on making the right choice when trying to move forward:
“We have to somehow accept, not deny, but feel our suffering and feel our losses. And then we make one of two decisions: We either decide to go through the gate of resentment, which leads to vengeance, which leads to self-harm, which leads to harm to others. Or we go through the gate of forgiveness, which leads to grace.”
Carrey himself is no stranger to suffering, having battled depression and bipolar disorder. He pointed out to the crowd that the very fact that they were gathered together at Homeboy Industries was the first positive step of finding grace:
“You’ve made the decision to walk through the gate of forgiveness, to grace — just as Christ did on the cross. He suffered terribly and was broken by it, to the point of doubt and a feeling of absolute abandonment, which all of you have felt. And then there was a decision to be made, and the decision was to look upon the people who were causing that suffering, or the situation that was causing that suffering, with compassion and with forgiveness. And that’s what opens the gates to heaven for all of us.”
It was a brave and unlikely move for this 55-year-old comedian who normally appeals to his audiences with his humor and seemingly unnatural facial distortions. It’s not the first time that Carrey has talked publicly about religion, although in the past his comments have been more generically spiritual than specifically Christian.