In the tradition of Benjamin Franklin and Andrew
Rooney, Paul Harvey espouses common sense. He
lacks the humour of Mark Twain and Will Rogers, George Bernard Shaw and H.L.
Mencken. Ignoring politics and eschewing satire,he wants us to
experience life and learn from it. Parents who try to make things easy
for their children are doing them more harm than good. Youngsters ought
to be guided, not led. Raising them protectively won't enable them to rely on
themselves. What Harvey wishes for his grandchildren follows:
I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and
that you learn honesty by being cheated.
I hope you learn to make money and mow the lawn
and wash the car.
And really hope nobody gives you a brand new car
when you are 16. I hope you have a job by then
It will be good if at least one time you can see a
baby calf born and an old dog put to sleep.
I hope you get a black eye fightng for something
you believe in.
I hope you have to share a bedroom with your
younger brother. It's alright if you have to draw a line down the middle
of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's
scared, I hope you let him.
When you want to see a Disney movie and your
little brother wants to go along, I hope you'll let him.
I hope you have to walk uphill to school
with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.
On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I
hope your driver doesn't have to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen
riding with somebody as uncool as your mum.
I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read
When you learn to use those newfangled computers,
I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.
I hope when you talk back to your mother that you
learn what Ivory soap tastes like.
May you skin your knee climbing mountain, burn
your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.
I hope you get sick when someone blows cigar smoke
in your face.
I don't care if you try beer once, but I hope you
don't like it.
If a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you
realise he is not your friend.
I hope you make time to sit on a porch with your
grandpa and go fishing with your uncle.
May you feel sorrow at a funeral and the joy of
These things I wish for you: tough times and
disappointment, hard work and happiness.