16 January 2008


I found this simple definition from a children's review game on English and grammar:

"Antagonists are necessary. They give the protagonist an obstacle to overcome."

This essay is attributed to Paul Harvey, as it has circled the Internet for some time now. But, Paul Harvey did not write it. The true author, Lee Pitts, published the nostalgic essay in 2000 in the book "Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul." Paul Harvey does use material written by Lee Pitts from time to time, and he did read this particular essay (crediting Pitts, of course) during his September 6, 1997 broadcast.

These Things I Wish For You
-- By Lee Pitts

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse.

For my grandchildren, I'd like better. I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother. And it's all right 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 movie and your little brother wants to tag 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 you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure 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 joy during the holidays. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

See more from Lee Pitts at WVMCattle.com

"For our light affliction,

which is but for a moment,
is working for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory,"

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him"

Don't we get it yet?

"So He humbled you,
allowed you to hunger,
and fed you with manna which you did not know,
nor did your fathers know,

that He might make you know

that man shall not live by bread alone;
but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord"

God really is good. Funny how humbleness is really a golden thing to strive for; the more I know it, the more I am glad of it. I wish I knew it more. They say that it's only when you're hands are empty that they can be filled. And God does promise good things. Things that I can't even begin to imagine.

You remember that letter that goes around in the emails sometimes, about what a Grandfather wishes for his Grandkids. I posted it above. He wishes them hard work, broken hearts and all these things that make you think at first he's got to be joking. But he just wants them to be strong, patient, wise. I'm starting to get it. Fifteen years of marriage, four children and almost 40 years of living, and I'm starting to get it.

I never did say or think that old fashioned ladies had it easy. But it is a good thing to be. Strong, patient, wise, old-fashioned. All this and a lady too.

Trying to pass on what I can as I go.
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