Joe Friday Hands Down the Best Words of Wisdom Ever
Wow. Ran across this online. Words of wisdom from Joe Friday and Bill Gannon that ring as true today as they did back in the 60’s. Watch this classic speech they give to some teenagers about their wishes to start a new country.
Friday wraps it up with the best line ever:
“Don’t try to build a new country. Make this one work. “
Don’t think you have a corner on all the virtue vision in the country or that everyone else is fat and selfish and yours is the first generation to come along that’s felt dissatisfied – they all have, you know, about different things; and most of them didn’t have the opportunity and freedoms that you have.
Let’s talk poverty. In most parts of the world, that’s not a problem, it’s a way of life. And rights? They’re liable to give you a blank stare because they may not know what you’re talking about.
The fact is, more people are living better right here than anyone else ever before in history. So don’t expect us to roll over and play dead when you say you’re dissatisfied. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great deal better than when we grew up: a hundred men standing in the street hoping for one job; selling apples on the street corner – that’s one of the things we were dissatisfied about; and you don’t see that much anymore.
You’re taller, stronger, healthier, and you live longer than the last generation; and we don’t think that’s altogether bad. You’ve probably never seen a ‘Quarantine’ sign on a neighbor’s door. Diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough – probably none of your classmates are crippled with polio. You don’t see many mastoid scars anymore.
We’ve done quite a bit of fighting all around the world. Whether you think it was moral or not a lot of people are free to make their own mistakes today because of it. And that may just include you.
I don’t know; maybe part of it’s the fact that you’re in a hurry. You’ve grown up on instant orange juice. Flip a dial – instant entertainment. Dial seven digits – instant communication. Turn a key – push a pedal-instant transportation. Flash a card – instant money. Shove in a problem – push a few buttons – instant answers. But some problems you can’t get quick answers for, no matter how much you want them.
We took a little boy into Central Receiving Hospital yesterday; he’s four years old. He weighs eight-and-a-half pounds. His parents just hadn’t bothered to feed him. Now give me a fast answer to that one–one that’ll stop that from ever happening again.
And if you can’t settle that one, how about the 55,000 Americans who’ll die on the highway this year? That’s nearly six or seven times the number that’ll get killed in Vietnam. Why aren’t you up in arms about that? Or is dying in a car somehow moral?
Show me how to wipe out prejudice. I’ll settle for the prejudices you have inside yourselves. Show me how to get rid of the unlimited capacity for human beings to make themselves believe they’re somehow right – and justified – in stealing from somebody, or hurting somebody…and you’ll just about put this place here out of business!
Don’t think we’re telling you to lose your ideals or your sense of outrage. They’re the only way things ever get done. And there’s a lot more that still needs doing. And we hope you’ll tackle it.
You don’t have to do anything dramatic like coming up with a better country. You can find enough to keep you busy right here.
In the meantime, don’t break things up in the name of progress or crack a placard stick over someone’s head to make him see the light. Be careful of his rights. Because your property and your person and your rights aren’t any better than his. And the next time you may be the one to get it. We remember a man who killed six million people and called it social improvement.
Don’t try to build a new country. Make this one work. It has for over four hundred years; and by the world’s standards, that’s hardly more than yesterday.
Wow. I could just eat that speech up! I am in love with Joe Friday’s and Bill Gannon’s words here! 🙂