The New Zealand Herald reports, Kiwi principal sends teen message viral… 53 years on
According to a 2010 post on the Pierce County Tribune website, the words come from a letter by Judge Phillip B. Gilliam of Denver, Colorado, published on December 17, 1959, which explains why the advice sounds somewhat dated.
Almost 15,000 people shared the link on their own Facebook profiles, attracting the attention of American news website the Huffington Post and fuelling the internet sensation.
Always we hear the cry from teenagers, ‘What can we do, where can we go?’
My answer is this: Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and after you’ve finished, read a book.
Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun.
The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something.
You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again.
In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone.
Start behaving like a responsible person.
You are important and you are needed.
It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.
Someday is now and that somebody is you.
~ Judge Phillip B. Gilliam of Denver, Colorado, published on December 17, 1959