Natalie Portman delivers a powerful speech to Harvard grads about using inexperience as an asset.

"The very inexperience that in college made me feel insecure and made me want to play by others' rules, now was making me actually take risks I didn't even realize were risks."

Natalie Portman delivered this year's commencement address to the graduates at Harvard University, reflecting on her own time at the school.

She attended Harvard from 1999 to 2003, earning a degree in psychology in the process. She went into school worried that maybe she didn't really belong, that maybe others believed she was only there because of her fame. ("Star Wars Episode I" had just come out, and she had roles in a handful of other movies in the years leading up to that.)



All clips via Harvard University.

But then she started in on the true theme of her speech: Inexperience can be a powerful asset.

For many students, going off to college can be a scary thing. For most, it's the first time they're away from their parents for any length of time, and it most certainly is a time of inexperience.



Inexperience and failure can guide who we are and what we look for in life.

Portman's first film was called "The Professional." She took the audience back to one of her first reviews that would go on to affect her approach toward acting.

"Ms. Portman, a ravishing little gamine, poses far better than she acts," Janet Maslin wrote in her 1994 New York Times review of the film.

Over the long run, "The Professional" would come to be considered a moderately successful cult classic, but at the time, Portman saw it as a total failure. She acknowledges, though, that to this day, people will compliment her on this role from more than two decades ago.

This experience informed the career choices she made from there on out. She was determined to be "good" and not just "done."


And this passion, combined with a bit of inexperience, is what led her to the part of a lifetime.

It's because of her inexperience that she took on a high-risk, high-reward role in "Black Swan."

"People told me that 'Black Swan' was an artistic risk, a scary challenge to try to portray a professional ballet dancer," she says. "But it didn't feel like courage or daring that drew me to it. I was so oblivious to my own limits that I did things I was woefully unprepared to do. And so the very inexperience that in college made me feel insecure and made me want to play by others' rules, now was making me actually take risks I didn't even realize were risks."

Had she known what it took to be a ballerina, maybe she wouldn't have taken that chance. Maybe she would have passed on the role. But she took it.

So, before you become too realistic about your limits, use your inexperience for what its worth. Natalie Portman did and she took home an Oscar for it.

Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images.

Watch Natalie Portman's full speech (it's 100% worth it) below.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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