There were two big stories in the news today that represent the choice facing all Americans. First, a postal worker who decided to steal money from over 2,000 cards out of boredom. Not greed, but boredom. And the other? A woman who donated her modest diamond ring and wedding band to the Salvation Army in hopes that they could use the money from the sales to give needy children a Merry Christmas. Which are we?
Below is a rough transcript of this segment:
GLENN: There's two other things I want to tell you about. And, America, it's time for us to decide who we are. Which one of these stories are we? I know which one I am. I know which one I want to strive for. I know which one I believe the average person is.
But I want you to decide.
Sharon Berrien is accused of pocketing any cash from the mail and dumping the leftovers along Interstate 94. Most of the items were greeting cards.
She was charged Monday with stealing mail while working in a Detroit mail processing center. Investigators said she told them the thefts began last spring. The probe started in October when mail was found along the interstate, Interstate 94.
On November 21st, 800 pieces of mail were found in her trash bin, behind her house. Three bags were found inside of her closet. She said she kept about 1,000 to $1,500.
Investigators said, when asked why she did it, she said, well, I don't have any financial problems. I, quote, was just bored.
Here's the thing, I think it's a problem with our kids too: They're bored. We don't have anything for them to do. They don't have to work hard. No one is milking the cow. No one is mending the fence. No one is doing the things that we used to have to do as a kid. And I can't speak for your kids. I can speak for my kids. And they get bored. Idle hands are the devil's workshop. That is one of the copybook headings. Idle hands are the devil's workshop.
PAT: You never hear that anymore. Heard that from our dads, our moms. But I don't think the kids of today hear that. When was the last time you said that to your kids? Idle hands are the devil's workshop, you ever said that to your kids?
GLENN: No. Because they're not idle. They're playing games. But that's an idle mind. That's an idle mind.
Okay. So now are we those people? Are we the people that we're just so bored, we don't care that those are greeting cards. There's nothing in us that says, you know what, Sally was writing something to her niece, it was her birthday. No one has a problem with that. Are we those people that we can see past that and say, yeah, you know what, I was bored. Whatever. It makes me happy. Or are we this person?
Salvation Army found an unusual surprise in one of its red donation kettles. A diamond engagement ring. When they found this engagement ring and the wedding band that someone had dropped in the kettle, at first they thought, oh, boy, somebody had lost their ring. Then they found the wedding band as well. Now, what would you think?
Maybe somebody got a divorce is, I'm getting rid of this ring.
PAT: That's what I would think. That's what I first thought.
GLENN: Now listen to this: The charity said Monday, somebody placed a diamond ring valued at $1,850. One was a diamond ring. One was a wedding band. They found it in a kettle right outside of Boston's North Station. In the kettle, they also found a note.
Woman said: Please sell these and use the money to buy toys for needy children.
In the note, she explained that her husband had a giving spirit. I've recently lost my husband, and to honor his memory, I donate this ring. I'm hoping there's somebody out there who made a lot of money this year and will buy this ring for ten times its worth. After all, there's no value on the love and sentimental value this ring has. The money will help children. May everyone have a Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
No word on whether they'll auction this ring. Salvation Army should auction it because I think there are a lot of people -- I offer my services. We should call the Salvation Army today. Have someone call up to the Salvation Army. We'll auction it off on the air nationally. I think you'll get a lot more than $1,800 for that. What a tremendous American story.
So the question is light or dark? Life or death? Good or evil? Which are we? Are we the county that will talk about digging up stuff from the George Bush administration just to hide what's going on today? Will we live in the past or live in the future? What will we do tomorrow? I'm not saying that I have any answers. And I'm not placing any blame on this president or the last president or the future president.
I'm asking: What are we going to do? ISIS is a part of our children's future now. What are we going to do? Live in the past or choose the future?
Jonathan Gruber -- which are we -- what are we going to accept? Are we going to be people that tell the truth and really make the case and let the people decide because we trust the people, because this is a nation of the people, by the people, for the people? And we really believe that. It's not just an old dusty document. It's an old speech that Abraham Lincoln gave. We really mean that. That we will abide by what the people say.
Are we going to treat them like morons and lie and cheat and steal just to get our point of view across and enacted? Or are we going to be better than that? Are we going to expect the people to be smart about that? I can talk to you all day about how stupid the American people. But I don't believe the American people are stupid. Some are.
And it's not that they're stupid. They're disengaged. They don't think it matters anymore. And why should they? They're not expected to do anything.
When George Bush said, hey, by the way, the stock market are cratering. Our towers have fallen. America was waiting for: Roll up your sleeves. We're going to work. What was his advice. Go shopping. Go shopping was our hard work. Idle hands, the devil's workshop. His advice to us was go spend money.
Is that who we are? Make a choice.
Had a meeting earlier this morning here in New York. Told the story -- I've been telling it for a while now. It's kind of part of a pivot point for me. I heard a story about a farmer in Ireland. And it's apparently an old Irish saying.
The farmer was out in his field and working and plowing the field. Working hard. He stops, he looks up, and he sees a man on the road walking all by himself. Carrying luggage. Apparently lost because there's nothing for miles around.
He traipses across the field and he comes up to the farmer. The farmer watches him for a while. He meets him there halfway in the field. How can I help you, he says?
He says, I'm lost.
The farmer says, well, that's clear. Where you headed?
The traveler looks at the farmer and says, well, I'm headed here. But I don't know -- have any idea how to get there.
The farmer said, where you headed?
Man told him again.
The farmer put his head in his hands. Rubbed his chin a bit, looked around. Looked down one side of the street then done the other. Turned around in the field. Looked down at his shoes. Then looked up at the traveler.
He said, well, I have to tell you, if that's where you're going, I wouldn't start here.
The point of that story is: Where are we headed? Do we even know anymore? Where are we headed? I can tell you, if we don't chart a course, we're all headed for the post office in Detroit. We'll all be bored. We won't see the difference between right and wrong. We'll just do what we want to see. Nothing else matters. It's me, me, me. The world owes it to us.
If we don't fix ourselves on some real points of principles in the sky, things that never move -- when was the last time you said, what are my principles? What are the things we really believe on? What are the things that I as a person -- forget about the dusty document -- what are the things that I hold to be self-evident, you don't even have to teach me or my children, we just know these things are right. And are you doing them? Where are we headed as a country? Yeah, I know we have a lot of debt. Yeah, I know Congress. Yeah, I know the president.
Well, you don't understand -- look how much money it costs to elect someone. I got it. Problems. Bigger than I could possibly imagine. Bigger than any man could possibly solve. I got it. Where are you headed? Stop telling, yeah, I certainly wouldn't start here. Yeah, I know, but this is where I'm at.
So I know it's going to be harder to get where I need to be, but this is where we're at. Choose. Life or death. Choose today. Look, if you're thinking about life isn't worth it, I'm telling you right now it is. I'm telling you right now it is.
But you have to make that decision. And may I suggest, make the decision. Make the decision.
I don't know what tomorrow brings. Make the decision. Stop worrying about the -- the sun will rise. And you're either going to find warmth or freak out that it's not going to come up over the hill. Find the warmth. Sun is rising. You have today. Don't waste another day. Choose today who you are.