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Judge’s Words of Wisdom to Teens and Tweens Goes Viral

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Parents of teens and tweens, we've got a story for you and your kids. Some sage advice from a judge is going viral and soon could be making its way to a Facebook post near you. In 1959, Judge Philip B. Gilliam of Denver, Colorado, published a letter in the Pierce County Tribune in North Dakota.

Fast-forward just over half a century when in 2010 the Tribune's editor posted the letter on the paper's website. From there, principal John Tapene all the way in New Zealand posted the letter in his school's newsletter. Finally, some of Judge Gilliam's wise words found their way to Canadian radio station 96.7, which posted the letter to its Facebook wall with the title "Every teenager should have this framed and hung on their wall in their room."

The popular Facebook post has been shared more than 11,000 times and counting. Here's a snippet of what the letter says: "Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Your city or village does not owe you recreational facilities. The world does not owe you a living. ... Grow up; quit being a crybaby. Get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone, and start acting like a man or a lady."

At the rate that this post is being shared on social media, it proves that good advice never goes out of style.

Judge Gilliam's letter to the Pierce County Tribune:

Open Letter to Teen-ager

Always we hear the plaintive cry of the teen-ager. What can we do?...Were can we go?
The answer is GO HOME!
Hang the storm windows, paint the woodwork. Rake the leaves, mow the lawn, shovel the walk. Wash the car, learn to cook, scrub some floors. Repair the sink, build a boat, get a job.
Help the minister, priest, or rabbi, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army. Visit the sick, assist the poor, study your lessons. And then when you are through - and not too tired - read a book.
Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Your city or village does not owe you recreational facilities.
The world does not owe you a living...You owe the world something.
You owe it your time and your energy and your talents so that no one will be at war or in poverty or sick or lonely again.
Grow up; quit being a crybaby. Get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone, and start acting like a man or a lady.
You're supposed to be mature enough to accept some of the responsibility your parents have carried for years.
They have nursed, protected, helped, appealed, begged, excused, tolerated and denied themselves needed comforts so that you could have every benefit. This they have done gladly, for you are their dearest treasure.
But now, you have no right to expect them to bow to every whim and fancy just because selfish ego instead of common sense dominates your personality, thinking and request.
In Heaven's name, grow up and go home!

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