Commentary between Dan Rather and Bill Moyers, circa 1982
One of my cherished friends posted this to LinkedIn… I was moved, what was then (1982) still applies perfectly today. Thank you Luna for blessing me with yet another one of your pieces of wisdom.
CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
CBS EVENING NEWS WITH DAN RATHER (Excerpt)
Friday, July 9, 1982
6:30 – 7:00 PM, EDT
7:00 – 7:30 PM, EDT (Update)
RATHER: It’s not unusual for a commentator to have something to say. But in his commentary tonight Bill Moyers talks about something he wished he could hear, something he believes the class of ’82 ought to hear.
BILL MOYERS: Our youngest son graduated from high school the other day, prompting me to think about what I would like to hear at my commencement if I were doing it all over again in 1982, instead of 1952. This time, I would like for someone to tell me the truth, to admit the world’s a hard place, and life’s a tough act. That along the way, we experience separation, loss, and tragedy, while meeting a goodly number of fools, knaves, and clowns. I would like to be told at 18, that while life includes a lot of luck, life is more than luck. It is sacrifice, study and work, and appointments kept, and trains not missed. But I would like to be told there is honor in the world, and people who care, and laughter, and moments of beauty and magic to counterpoise the pain. I would like to be told that it’s okay to love your country right or wrong. But that it’s not right to be silent when your country is wrong. That we’re all expected to read critically, think independently and engage good naturedly in the controversies of our time. That the temper and integrity with which the political fight is waged can be more important for the health of America than any single policy.
I would like to be urged not to give up on the American experience. To remember that the same culture which produced Jonestown and My Lai, Watergate and the Ku Klux Klan, also brought forth the Marshall Plan, Archibald MacLeish and Martin Luther King. Because I live in a privileged place, I’d like to be told that the world is something else. That if the more than 4-billion people which live on this planet were a town of 1,000, only 60 would be Americans, some 400 would live under a form of tyranny, and 800 or more would be of another color than white. Then I would not be surprised one day to discover the earth is a high risk neighborhood, that I belong to a minority, and cannot take democracy for granted or forget my obligations to justice, which is to this tangled thicket of human relations as a compass to navigators on the midnight sea.
Finally, I would like to be told of the poet’s conviction that a shining point exists where all lines intersect. And that the reward is not in finding it, but searching for it. Knowing such things, I might not go forth and make fewer mistakes, but I might learn from them much sooner.
©MCMLXXXII CBS Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED