My love. Your support and your guidance make everything that I do possible. Mad, I’m not gonna cry I promise. I won’t embarrass you. You and your brothers and sisters are my happiness. And there is no greater honour in this world than being your mom.
She was very clear, that nothing would mean anything if I didn’t live a life of use to others. I didn’t know what that meant for a long time. I came into this business young, and worried about my own experiences and my own pain, and it was only when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home, that I understand my responsibilities to others. When I met survivors of war, and famine, and rape, I learned what life was like for most people in this world, and how fortunate I was to have food to eat, a roof over my head, a safe place to live, and the joy of having my family safe and healthy, and I realised how sheltered I had been, and I was determined never to be that way again. We are all, everyone in this room, so fortunate. I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had, to have this path in life, and why across the world, there’s a woman just like me, with the same abilities and the same desires, the same work ethic and same love for her family, who would most likely make better films and, better speeches. Only she sits in a refugee camp. And she has no voice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe, and if they’ll ever be allowed to return home. I don’t know why this is my life, and that’s hers. I don’t understand that, but I’ll do as my mother asked, and I will do the best I can with this life, to be of use. And to stand here today means that I did as she asked, and if she were alive, she’d be very proud, so thank you for that.
Angelina Jolie receives the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2013 Governors Awards in the Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, CA, Saturday, November 16