This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," November 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: Hello, America.
All this week I have talked to you about some pretty spooky things and some uplifting things.
I want you to know that my wife actually told me one time, we went to a friend's birthday party, and she said — swear to you, this is exactly what she said — as we were waiting for them to answer the door, she looked at me and said, don't you dare make anybody cry. I have a tendency of bumming people out.
But I tell you — there are great, great, powerful things coming our way. But we have to get into shape. We have to be ready for it, because miracles come when we expect them, when we deserve them, and when we understand that we are the maker's hands, we are the instruments that he performs miracles with.
All this week, I've talked to you downsizing and getting rid of the crap in your life. I mean, I don't know about you, but I've got a lot of crap in my life. I've got a lot of stuff — my wife and I were walking around the house, what — how did we gather all of this stuff?
I want to talk to you about turning that unneeded clutter into resources that will help either you be prepared for what may be a very tough road ahead of us by taking that money and buying food storage, getting extra supplies on your shelf, making sure that you're prepared, or joining me in another project.
There's a great benefit to going through the purging process — A, money at the other end. But what my wife and I found out, Tania and I, we went through the house this weekend, and we were sifting through the stuff, and some of it has been packed away in boxes for years.
And we looked at some of the stuff, and some of the stuff we argued over. For instance, she insists that I sell the Woodrow Wilson doll. No, I'm not selling it. Why do we need a Woodrow Wilson doll? Are you kidding me? The Woodrow Wilson doll is the best. And he — he talks, too. This is the greatest. And it scares the neighbors.
So, we had a discussion on a few things. But it was fun. And there was a flood of memories. Everything that we looked at, we're, like, oh, my gosh, do you remember when we got that, or do you remember this or — it will remind you about the good times and bad times, all the ups and downs in your life, and it will remind you that even in the bad times, we are so incredibly blessed.
We are blessed to live in a country that provides freedom of choice, freedom to choose your own path, to self-determination, the ability to gather our own unique set of memories, if you will — I mean, I don't know how long it sat on the shelf before I came into the store.
We gather our memories in whatever shape or size we choose. It has been said that you never really fully appreciate something until you lose it. I'm a recovering alcoholic. And I will tell you that is the understatement of a lifetime. I didn't understand — I didn't value my own word. I didn't value honor or integrity as an alcoholic. And any alcoholic tell you, man, we're good at lying, because we've lied to ourself for most of our lives.
If you can fool yourself, you can certainly fool somebody else. You never fully appreciate you had until you don't have it anymore. When I didn't have a soul in my life, that believe me anymore, that I didn't have any honor or integrity, I wanted it back. It's been a very long, hard road to get it back.
I don't know how many of us fully really appreciate what this country means, what freedom means — and liberty and freedom unmatched anywhere in the world. I'm sorry, but we are not like the rest of the world. We do not want to lose it to appreciate it.
Ronald Reagan said this: "Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again." It is true. If we're lucky, our children will taste it again. But have we done enough to even teach them that it's worth something?
Our children will not mourn for something they didn't even understand. What is our freedom about? Stuff?
We don't even know our own history. Millions have died for what most of us now take for granted. Countless treasure has been spent to further the cause that I hope we hold dear. A greater amount has been — has been wagered all around the globe to destroy it.
You've heard me tell this story a million times before. It's about Ben Franklin. He walked out of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia, and a woman approached him and said, "What have you given us, Mr. Franklin?" He said, "A republic, if you can keep it." Can we?
That statement looms larger today than perhaps any other time in our history — maybe with the exception of the Civil War. Take the time to consider the values and the principles and the history of this country — what we were founded on. The values and the principles, the role they play, not only in our country, but they play in our own life.
It is my goal — I really truly believe with everything in me that this audience will change the course of the nation, and thus change the course of the world, if we are our highest self, if we have — if we've done the hard work. And it's hard, especially before the problem really hits.
I ask you tonight — take an inventory of your own life. Take the 40-day and 40-night challenge, a blueprint for national survival.
I ask you, in 40 days, please, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. It's a four-step process. It's all outlined on the website. Please take that.
Take a moment to find and center yourself. Take a moment to be thankful for the blessings that is the United States of America.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is also time to learn our own history and share it with your family. Talk to your children about the real story of the first Thanksgiving.
Do you even know the story? It was 1621. Pilgrims had come to this country in search of freedom — freedom to worship God from tyranny.
They had a reason to be miserable, not thankful. A hundred and two of them had made the trip to the new world, and on this day, only 53 of them remained. By all accounts, their stay up to that had been a disaster, and yet, they all gathered to give thanks.
They thanked God for sparing those who remained, and for bringing them to this new land. Half of them had died. Yet they thanked God. They thanked him for the Indian friends who provided much of that day's feast.
What have we turned Thanksgiving into? Football, overeating, undoing our pants, sleeping on the couch and just going (INAUDIBLE). So, we're Homer Simpson sometimes. At least I am.
I challenge you to change this habit this year. Make Thanksgiving 2010 a return to the first Thanksgiving — a return to reflection, a return to appreciation for what we have, a return to thanks, thanks for the blessings.
We all may die — you know, they sat at that table, and somebody had to look each other in the eyes and think, you could be dead next week. We've lost half of them. But they found inside of themselves to say, man, aren't we blessed?
Christmas is the next holiday — and Christmas is another holiday that is strayed a million miles away from where it began.
Early Americans weren't sure how to — how to do the holiday. I mean, they didn't know what to make of it. It was actually in Boston, did you know this? Outlawed in Boston in the late 1600s.
Congress was on session on December 25th, 1789. They were working. They didn't close anything down. The churches back then thought celebration of Christmas was tawdry and demeaned the sanctity of religion — only if they could see us now.
Do you know when Christmas became a federal holiday and everything changed? 1870. 1870. And even then, things were so much different. There was no Black Friday. There was certainly no Cyber Monday. And if gifts were exchanged, they were almost always made of the homemade variety.
If you were a kid in the typical American family, you might get one gift. Sometimes it was just sugar. And it would be the highlight of the entire year.
Thanksgiving and then Christmas are part of what I call the trilogy of holidays, the third being New Year's.
The reason why we always fail on New Year's resolutions is because we haven't been grateful enough to get down on our knees and be humble enough, and then see the little Baby Jesus and realize — holy cow, he's here to give me a second chance.
I break these holidays down like this:
Thanksgiving — fall on your knees and give thanks. In the process, realize — again, Thanksgiving, don't make it a compound word. Separate it. Give thanks. And the best way to give thanks is to give — give back.
Christmas celebrating the birth of Christ — the symbol of redemption, slate wiped clean. We can start all over again. The past space time. There's not — there's no space and time, it's space time. It's a point in a map.
What's past is past. That's where we were. Great. Where are you going today?
New Year's is the one that we think gives us a fresh start, but it really doesn't. The New Year is just the starting line. These two are the ones that give us the opportunity to start fresh.
I'm in the process of doing research for a new project that I'm working on for next year. I'll tell you about it next year. And it's pretty ambitious. I don't think anybody's ever tried it on television before, at least not on a show like this, not on cable news. And I don't know if anybody's going to watch, and that's OK.
But in the process of doing research for this, I stumbled across a story of a little town in Ohio called Wilmington, that not very long ago it was named one of the top places to live in America. It was a, quote, "dream town," end quote. It was right out of an Norman Rockwell painting. It's a great town.
In the course of 24 hours in November of 2008, Wilmington went from dream town to American nightmare when DHL, the shipping company, announced that they were closing their facility and they were laying off 9,500 people in a town of 12,000. Short time later, "60 Minutes" dubbed Wilmington ground zero for the nation's economic crisis, along with a number of other media outlet, they pretty have pronounced this town dead on arrival.
I grew up in a small town that everybody pronounced dead. I love small town America. It is the heart of us.
Let me tell you something right now. I don't care what "60 Minutes" says — Wilmington is not dead. It's not, thanks to gritty and determined citizens.
They have come to embody and represent the true American spirit. They look out for one another, they're working together, they're rebuilding a little town they call home and the government isn't involved. The churches are.
There's a woman named Molly. She's a nurse. She's married to a firefighter. She couldn't stand to se the historic Denver Hotel shut its doors.
Well, Molly's never run a hotel. I mean, look at this little hotel. She didn't know what to do. She didn't even have the money to buy it. So, she went up to the owner and she said, you can't close the doors. What else — how can I help? What can be done to keep it open?
Well, the seller was so impressed with her passion that he sold her the place, not with a contract, but on a handshake. He agreed even to finance the purchase himself. He said, you know what, Molly, I'll sell it to you. Oh, I don't know if I — no, no. You can do it. They shook hands on the deal.
Molly has a very long way to go to make sure this hotel is a success. But so far, she hasn't missed a payment.
And then there's the story of the local fire marshal who went to inspect a place called the Sugar Tree Ministry. This is an outreach to those in Wilmington, and, boy, is there need now. Upon finding several code violations, he wrote out a ticket. He gave them a warning notice.
Then he went back to the firehouse. And he said, guys, come on, grab your stuff. All the firemen came and they made the needed repairs. So this could keep its doors open.
That's who we are. That's America.
No, that's not who America is right now, but that's who Wilmington is. Wilmington is a city fighting to be Bedford Falls, not Pottersville.
And I personally plan to roll up my sleeves and help. If they will have us, I'm going to pay a visit next month, and I'm going to do the show from that little street, and I'm going to ask all the folks in nearby Dayton and Columbus and Cincinnati and Cleveland, or wherever else you might be, to join me — kind of a mini 8.28.
It's not going to be extravagant. It's not going to be big. I'm going to do a show in actually one local theater that last year they did a show in — because they do it every year. They do a show about the history of their town, and the furnace went out. And people came, but they were sitting in jackets. But they still came.
I'm going to do a show there. I invite you to come. I'll give you more information.
We're going to celebrate America's first Christmas. We're going to find real hope, where everyone else has found despair. What I'm asking the people in Wilmington — and they're hearing this announcement for the first time — what I'd like you to do is I'd like to make Christmas presents for people, but things that my kids would want or I would want that would remind me of a better time, of a better — something that has value.
If you happen to be watching this show, and you're like my grandmother, you're making a quilt, will you bring it? Will you sell your wares, sell your goods? Because I'd like to invite my friends and the people that watch this show to come on that day. And maybe we can open up some of the closed storefronts and we can sell things for Christmas. Will you help us?
I can't think of a more meaningful Christmas present to buy for somebody than something that has the circle of giving in it. I'll give you more details on it this week.
If you can join us in Wilmington — great. But wherever you are, make a difference this holiday season, the three holidays. Strip away the very near of empty traditions we've pasted over the true meaning — and look for the real light, look for the real reason behind these seasons — these holidays. It's not about stuff.
Can we together celebrate America's first Thanksgiving and America's first Christmas again as we prepare ourselves to become the people we were sent here at this time to be? You're here for a reason.
On Monday, I'm going to start selling some of the stuff in my house. I'm downsizing my life. My wife and I went through the — the Woodrow Wilson doll stays with me. I said, it's either Woody or you.
But I'm selling some stuff. We're selling some of the couches — we're cutting our life in half really. I'm selling it up on a Web site called YouPillar.com. Look for it on Monday and look for ways to join me on this quest — whether you keep the money and shore yourself up, or you donate it to charity, either in your own town, or you join me in Wilmington, Ohio. Find all the details at GlennBeck.com.
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