Last Thursday night, I had an unbelievable experience. I was lucky enough to be honored by Variety Magazine and the Unite4:Good Foundation as the “Unite4:Humanity Sports Humanitarian of the Year”!
What made the evening so special was the people, ideas, and charitable causes that I found myself surrounded with. The honorees at the event read like a Hollywood who’s who list.
- Morgan Freeman received the Karma Award.
- Matthew McConaughey received the Creative Conscience Award.
- Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller, received the Unite2gether Award.
- Gina Rodriguez received the Young Humanitarian Award.
- Olivia Wilde received the Unite4Children Award.
Which is why I started my acceptance speech with: I bet you have two questions as I receive this prestigious honor.
1. Who the hell is David Meltzer?
2. How the hell did they decide to give a sports agent a Humanitarian award?
Unexpectedly, the highlight of the evening was the speech from Gina Rodriguez. During her acceptance of the Young Humanitarian Award, she let her emotions show. Her speech, which has since gone viral, centered around her family’s struggle growing up in Chicago and how it shaped her perspective on life. She shared her truth, and it vibrated throughout the venue and now the world. Not long after that, it was my turn to be honored. As Olivia Wilde hugged me and Matthew McConaughey was warming up behind me, I took a deep breath as I heard my dear friend Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Reed announce my name and welcome me to the stage.
In front of all these amazing actors, and surrounded by incredible ideas, I spoke about the four pillars of truth: gratitude, empathy, accountability, and effective communication. Since my mom was present to honor me, I added a fifth, Jewish Guilt, to my pillars of truth. I utilize this pillar to get so many of my celebrity and athlete friends to give up their time, their money, and their privacy for charitable causes.
My acceptance was right on point because the common theme of the night, from Hall of Famer to Oscar winner, to Emmy winner, and Grammy winner—to little old me—was gratitude.
I couldn’t help but realize that gratitude is the common denominator between all successful people. Gratitude and the perspective it gives us to make our past so pleasant, our present so happy, and our future so bright; the gratitude that allows us to give to others unconditionally. Gratitude was the inspiration for my good friend, Andre Reed, to participate in the evening’s events, as Andre was kind enough to introduce me at the ceremony. Andre was kind enough to quickly change his plans, fly from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles for this event, and fly back Buffalo, of all places, the next morning. No one ever went broke by being gracious!
I want to utilize this blog to not only thank Variety, the Unite4:Good Foundation, Vered Nisim, and Andre Reed, but most importantly I want to raise the profile of the star of the evening—gratitude. May we all be grateful for everything and everyone!
By: David Meltzer