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Helen Mirren’s ‘Top Five Rules For A Happy Life’

Helen Mirren’s ‘Top Five Rules For A Happy Life’

Last weekend, Helen Mirren received an honorary degree from Tulane University and gifted graduation students the commencement speech of a lifetime.

Along with suggesting students down “a vodka martini straight up with a wedge of lime” at the beginning of her address, the 71-year-old shared a “few rules she’d picked up during her life of disasters and triumphs” that she affectionately calls, “Helen’s Top Five Rules For A Happy Life”.

These rules included:

  1. “Don’t be in a rush to get married”.
  2. “Treat people just like people – every single person, whether they have dominion over your life or not, deserves equal respect and generosity”.
  3. “Ignore anyone who judges the way you look, especially if its some anonymous creep lurking on the internet. If you are that person lurking on the internet, stop it.”
  4. “Don’t be afraid of fear. Throw caution to the winds. Look fear straightaway in its ugly face and barge forward. And when you get past it, turn around and give it a good, swift kick in the ass.”
  5. “Don’t overcomplicate things.”

Between presidential digs, she got to matters of importance such as how she came to feminism.

“I always believed in the obvious: that women were as capable and as energetic and as inspiring as men, but to join a movement called feminism just seemed too didactic, too political for me.

“However, I have come to understand that feminism is not an abstract idea but it’s a necessity if we—and really by ‘we,’ I mean you guys—are to move us forward and not backward into ignorance and fearful jealousy. So now, I am a declared feminist and I would encourage you to be the same.“

She quickly added an addendum to that rule: “Never again allow a group of old, rich, white men to define the health care of a country” whose majority is women.

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