A Better East TExas: Denzel Washington

Published: Dec. 31, 2007 at 3:10 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2009 at 5:05 PM CST
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There was a lot of buzz recently when Denzel Washington came to East Texas for the opening of the great debaters. A red carpet premiere in Marshall seemed very un-Hollywood, but Mr. Washington explained it just seemed right to open this movie in the town on which it was based.

Now, he has given one million dollars to re-establish the Wiley college debate team. I've always admired Mr. Washington both for his acting abilities and the positive ways in which he uses his stardom. We've seen him working with the boys and girls club of America, and posing with wounded soldiers at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

Now he's putting a small college that nearly closed, back on the map. I read once that Denzel said you never know who you might influence. He recalled a young counselor at the Boys and Girls club who told him that he could do anything in life. He walked out of there that day, a young kid, believing he really could do anything. I think unlike a lot of Hollywood celebrities, Denzel Washington recognizes his influence and uses it positively.

And it's true, whether you're a teacher, counselor, parent or actor - I guess none of us really know how our actions or words may affect others. By taking the time to encourage those around us and set a positive example, we can make this a better East Texas. and who knows, you might just be influencing a future movie star.