Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thomas Friedman: ‘Call Your Mother’

In a wonderful tribute to his mother, who died in this last year, New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, ended with this story and appeal:

“Whenever I’ve had the honor of giving a college graduation speech, I always try to end it with this story about the legendary University of Alabama football coach, Bear Bryant.

Late in his career, after his mother had died, South Central Bell Telephone Company asked Bear Bryant to do a TV commercial. As best I can piece together, the commercial was supposed to be very simple — just a little music and Coach Bryant saying in his tough voice: “Have you called your mama today?”

On the day of the filming, though, he decided to ad-lib something. He reportedly looked into the camera and said: “Have you called your mama today? I sure wish I could call mine.” That was how the commercial ran, and it got a huge response from audiences.

So on this Mother’s Day, if you take one thing away from this column, take this: Call your mother.

I sure wish I could call mine.”

Source: ‘Call Your Mother,’ New York Times, 11 May 2008.

Image: Thomas L. Friedman