This is the 30th in a collection of newspaper ads written by Harry Gray, then CEO of United Technologies, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Here is the text from that ad.
This message first ran four years ago. We said it in 1979, and we say it again, what a great day for America if every one of our students signed this pledge. The whole country would benefit and it wouldn’t add a penny to school budgets.
- I now realize that the greatest power in the world is the power of knowledge.
- I want to be smart. Dumb, misinformed people go through life missing so many rewards that could be theirs.
- I will learn my basic skills and be expert in them.
- I will read books on the subjects that interest me most. But I will also read books and articles on other subjects to broaden my awareness of what is happening in the world around me.
- I will discuss at dinner time what I have learned or questioned at school today.
- I will study the ideas and dreams of our history to see how they can help me today.
- I will set aside time each day to think about my future, to discuss it with people I respect and to work on accumulating the knowledge that can guarantee that future.
- I will pledge this to those who love me and are trying to help me succeed. More important, I pledge it to myself.
Student signature _________________________________________________________
Teacher (I’ll help you!) ____________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian (endorsed with great love!) _____________________________
The pledge is timeless; as relevant today as it was 32 years ago.
The one thought that struck me however is that the pledge doesn’t have to be restricted to students, it seems appropriate for anyone, of any age.
The pledge is essentially a guide to how to live a good life, and who wouldn’t want to sign-up for that?