I want you to know that I am proud to say I’m your friend. I am proud to claim you as an audience. I want to spend a few minutes, and just before we get into all the news of the day, sometimes you get so close to something that you don’t see it anymore. And I want to make sure that you take some time today to see what you are building.
I grew up at a bakery – and you’d never guess by fluctuating weight. When I grew up, we all worked in the bakery, and high father was a fantastic baker. We used to have bubbling chocolate and bubbling butter always on the stove at the bakery. And that was because if something hot came out of the oven, you could just dip it in butter or dip it in chocolate and you could eat it. And I mean, it was fantastic. But I got so sick of it because I was so close to it.
My father’s bread was just some of the best bread ever. I have a dear, dear friend who makes bread in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s got to be in her 70s now. It’s the best bread I’ve ever had. Every time I go, she makes a loaf of bread for me. And it’s the best bread I’ve had since my grandmother or since my father. But I used to take my German chocolate cake this my lunch and I would trade it for Wonder Bread at school because Wonder Bread had chemicals in it. Wonder Bread was the greatest. And we couldn’t have Wonder Bread.
I was so close, the kids would look at me and and I know now they were teasing, but they were like, ‘We got Wonder Bread. We got some Wonder Bread today. What have you got?’ I’d be like, ‘I got German chocolate cake.’ ‘I don’t know. Okay.’
But I was too close to it. So I didn’t see it.
I want you to see who you are.
I believe this radio audience and this growing network has the most incredible listeners, readers, and viewers in the country, possibly the world. I don’t know how you measure this, but here we are a little group, a little group of people that are mocked and ridiculed, held out as hate mongers and everything else. We’re not a religious organization. We’re a group of people that actually believe in something, and to categorize our beliefs into something as shallow as politics is to grossly distort what is actually in plain view for thin to see.
I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who really do believe that the world can be a better place. All you have to do is care for one another. Love one another. We don’t have to agree with everybody. You don’t have to legislate or tax kindness or charity. In fact, you can’t legislature self into a place of love. What this audience and what this staff suggests is the world can be a better place if we just live our principles and our values.
Through Mercury One we were the first, if not the first on the scene for Hurricane Sandy. The stories we didn’t tell of the people who you fed, you clothed, you gave shelter, you gave water to is astounding. How you changed of Chris Kyle’s children and in 24 hours you stepped to the plate and offered what is going to be a million dollars, by the end of this hour will be a million dollars, a million dollars for disaster relief. I give you my word every dollar of that, every dollar of that will go to the people of Moore, Oklahoma. What media group can claim this? None. Not NBC, not ABC. How much money, honestly how much money do they raise when they do their hurricane relief funds and they have every band and they spend millions and millions of dollars?
I got home night before last at 6:30 or 7:30, I don’t even know when the first tweet came out and I said, ‘Tornado. Give. We’re going to go ‑‑ I need some trucks. We’re going to deliver some food that we have through Operation Blessing. I need two semi‑trucks, two eighteen‑wheelers.’ An hour later I had them. An hour after that we were packing the trucks. Four hours after that, we were pulling into a church parking lot, just down the street where the devastation was, and a woman came up wearing flip‑flops and a T‑shirt in the middle of the night and said, ‘Is this where I can get some food.’
Ponder today and accept that you are part of a growing group of people that is truly amazing. Understand that you make a difference. If you are still filled with those silly or old‑fashioned ideals that the world scoffs at, that the media mocks, that Hollywood tries to tell you doesn’t exist and never did, know this: Mr. Smith does go to Washington but only when we expect him to be there.
When we accept that Frank Capra was panned over and over again by the same kind of jaded insiders that too many times we find ourselves listening to today. When we accept, then we can choose a different path and change the world. I do believe, and I think you do too, that whether it’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington by Frank Capra or It’s a Wonderful Life, another movie pronounced dead on arrival at the time of release, just know this: That world does exist, even in small doses. But because you live, the world is a better place. Because you choose to believe and strive, neighbors in the end really do rally around friends, strangers, and neighbors. Because you refuse to give up, there are people who went to bed last night, even if it was on a cot in a church hallway with the press outside trying to talk to them and ask them how they feel. Because you live, perhaps somebody went to bed last night thinking to themselves, it really is a wonderful life.
The good news is it has just begun.
There are miracles on the horizon.