Gordon Mercer and Marcia Mercer Global Digital Post

John Wayne: John Wayne's Law of Tomorrow

Notes on Quotes: “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” John Wayne


Franklin, NC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/20/2010 -- John Wayne (1907-1979) is one of America’s most popular actors. He starred in many films including Stage Coach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Sands of Iowa Jima, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The High and Mighty, The Searchers and True Grit. He was ranked third most popular actor of all time in a recent Harris poll. This quote, by John Wayne, appears on his tombstone.

Born Marion Robert Morrison, he was nicknamed ‘little Duke’ as a child because of his large pet dog ‘Duke,’ who followed him everywhere. The nickname soon became ‘The Duke’ because of Wayne’s imposing stature.

We have chosen to call his quote, John Wayne's Law of Tomorrow. John Wayne payed his dues. He worked in the prop room. He took small bit acting roles earning only a few dollars a week. He worked as a stuntman. He acted in many low budget Westerns and he even played a corpse. He seemed to feel if he learned something new today, his tomorrows would be better. During the difficult years from 1926 until his first major success in Stagecoach in 1939, many would have given up, but his determination and philosophy helped him achieve mega stardom.

Every professor hopes his or her students will learn something today that they can use to create a better tomorrow. This past semester Gordon was teaching American Government at Western Carolina University. The class was covering leading issues and policy problems, along with learning about the U. S. Constitution and Governance. Gordon found most of his students attentive and thoughtful but he wanted them to develop their own conclusions based on reasoning. He didn’t care if they were Republicans, Independents, or Democrats as long as they did not let their party, the news media, or any outside source do their thinking for them.

At the end of the class a U. S. Army Veteran of over 20 years, Russell Dowless, walked slowly forward. Russell had recently returned from service in Iraq. “Dr. Mercer,” he said, “I think I get it. Our leaders are like the game we used to play as kids in the mountains called, ‘Kick the Can.’ They keep kicking the can up the road for future generations on debt, immigration, job creation and other areas. They are not solving problems and where is that getting us?” Gordon smiled; this student was putting ideas together his way and drawing conclusions. This student would try to create a better tomorrow.

We count on our political leaders to build a better tomorrow. To do this, it is necessary to be open to learning today.

John Wayne’s philosophy contributed to the compelling quality of his many movies. He had critics and experienced his share of negative reviews but said: “When the road looks rough ahead, remember the ‘Man Upstairs’ and the word ‘hope.’ Hang onto both and tough it out.”

His starring film roles and his personal popularity have stood the test of time. The next time you watch the Sands of Iowa Jima, True Grit, The Alamo or any of his many movies ……….remember his years of learning that he wore with excitement as he started each new tomorrow. We like John Wayne’s thinking. Tomorrows, clean and perfect as they are handed to us, make hope and optimism the foundation of each starting day.

Gordon Mercer is international president of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society and a professor. Marcia Mercer is a writer and columnist. Go to http://9955.hostednr.com to view our Notes on Quotes Press Room. Views expressed are the views of the authors and do not reflect the views of other organizations.

'Notes on Quotes' is a bimonthly column in The Franklin Press in Franklin, North Carolina