I recently watched A Few Good Men, I have also been watching a Masterclass with Aaron Sorkin who wrote A Few Good Men, and he discussed the big speech by Nathan Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson. That speech or part of that speech has been playing like a broken record in my head for weeks.
“I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself, to a man who rises and sleeps, under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide them! I’d rather you just said ‘thank you’, and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn, what you think you are entitled to!” (A Few Good Men).
The speech in my head isn’t arguing against the Navy JAG Corps, it’s the perceived greedy people who live in my house. Here is my version:
“I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself, to a son who rises and sleeps, under the blanket of the very food, clothing and shelter that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide them! I’d rather you just said ‘thank you’, and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up:
Your clothes off the floor.
Your (my) car.
The lawn mower and mow.
A watch and be on time.
A book and read.
Either way, I don’t give a damn, what you think you are entitled to!”
Oh what I wouldn’t pay to have Jack come over to my house and say that to my kids. I’m taking my own liberties with Aaron Sorkin’s words and purpose, and that speech, my version of that speech plays over and over in my head, every time one of my kids, leaves a glass of milk is his room until it becomes cottage cheese, or argues with me about the fascist state he lives in with cell phone data limits, and a job requirement before you can drive one of my cars.
I’m trying to raise men in my house (I have 3 boys), men who can take care of themselves and will contribute to the betterment of the world, work hard, help people, believe in something, know love because they see it in our house. We use words like humility, kindness, gratitude, charity. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent building something, you use them as automatic eye rolling, shrug and sigh triggers.
You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me to be a responsible parent, you need me to be a responsible parent.
I only hope I don’t end up in the brig, because I ordered a ‘Code Red’!