It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly 19 years since the release of the iconic album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which thrust Hill, barely in her mid-20s at the time, into the pantheon of music legends.
Friday marks Hill’s 42nd birthday, but while she’s most celebrated for insightful and moving songs like “Ex-Factor” and “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, Hill should be equally remembered for the many gems of wisdom she’s dropped over the years. Take, for example, the video above, where Hill, at just 25 years old, addressed a group of college students in 2000.
Still riding off the success of her debut album, the singer discussed her spiritual awakening, and realizing one’s potential.
“You know I live in this physical body, this is like my address... This is where I live. But there’s something much deeper,” Hill said.
“Who I am has nothing to do with the hair and shoes and stuff (even though I like shoes); it has nothing to do with that.”
Hill also spoke about the nature and importance of love, and the key to moving beyond superficial love:
“Love is so important. Love is that confidence. Love is what you give your children.... We don’t know love like we should. We always talk about ‘I have unconditional love.’ Unconditional love is…we don’t even know it. Because if a person stops stimulating us, we stop loving them. You’re not interesting to talk to anymore, goodbye. But that real love, that love that sometimes is difficult, difficult to have. That’s that love. And that’s a confidence builder.”
Watch Lauryn Hill’s entire speech on love, life and creativity here.