The Letter That Changed My Life

The Letter That Changed My Life

I was looking through some of my old stuff the other day and found a letter in my late grandfather sent to my grandmother who also passed away recently he sent it to her just before he went off to the Korean War they ended up living incredible lives together they travelled the world they knew everything about each other I mean they had the perfect marriage I looked up to this man more than I was ever able to tell him and hope to be half as good as he was this letter fundamentally changed my outlook on life when I first read it several years ago so my hope is that maybe it will help you in some way the beginning of the letter is cut off so I’m going to start where it starts on going to Korea my grandfather wrote I cannot see that it is too much to ask of me it is worth giving a large measure of time to perhaps one’s life you cannot single out the individual and say definitely it is unfair that he has to go for there are thousands of others who have gone and will go I not any different from them I would not want to be any exception it is a job to be done and I’m going to give it everything that I have to give no matter what an individual does he always has to face up to himself personally that self of mine can be a tough guy at times he did not let off in the easiest way and I’m glad that he is that way if you cannot or do not give everything to what you were doing then is it really worth doing at all there is one type of individual that gets to me more than any other I feel sorry for this kind of person for he will never never change his way let’s call him Jo saver he was in college I’ve seen him in the Marine Corps and I’ll see him again in civilian life we might as well look at Jo in college for he was much the same in his childhood in college Jo never really worked that hard why should he study not much sense in that for he will get by with passing grades and graduate all the same he isn’t too interested in the work and doesn’t make too much difference now he tells himself if he really wanted to work he could get good grades like the other guys on the Dean’s List but it can’t make that much of a difference in getting a job on the outside he’s now a college graduate wonderful opportunity that many others wish they had but he did not give his all rather he is waiting until he starts work that is when he will start grinding and making a success of himself then into the service he goes like millions of other Americans not different from any of the others but there’s no sense to working hard doing everything right he’s not going to make a career of this service so instead things are done half right no one but his buddies know the difference but boy wait until he’s out then he’s going to put on the steam he does get out he goes through good jobs doesn’t like them he hasn’t found the job which suits him for when he does then he’s gonna go to town years and years go by then one day Joe saver suddenly discovers that he is going to die going to die that’s one thing you can only do once Joe sees the light he’s been holding himself back all these years just waiting to do the extra good job but he ever quite got around to it now it’s too late he saved too much and for what death that’s Joe’s story well I’m not like Joe I just can’t see this waiting to do the good job if you hold back all the time you can never expect to get ahead of the race much the same with going to Korea there is a job to be done and this lad is going to do the very best he can from it I expect to learn learn so much about many many things I’d be an idiot if I was not looking forward to it there’s not much percentage in going into a task partially defeated and without spirit personalities have to grow too you cannot stop learning at any age there’s always room for improvement going under the assumption that you were ignorant and have a vast amount to learn and understand gives you millions of things to do and look for for my part I am given a group of men under my control and care a fabulous experience in its own right I’m going to put all my studying to work I’m going to new horizons new faces new ways of life belief so much to see know and understand and for it be the more rounded individual look at the better understanding and viewpoints all have every being seeks adventure and I cannot say that I’m any different it will be a new living and learning not always enjoying it all but there’s not always egg in that heady beer of ours I’ve told you now where I am going but I do not believe I stated how I feel towards this other than that I will miss you ever so dearly there’s an awful lot to it really I don’t want to sound too much like a flag waver the following may appear that way however it is not meant to I’m in the Marine Corps and they have given a job to me it is a job not only which I must do for my own respect but for the Marine Corps and above all my country you can be very idealistic about it but I don’t think that it has to be that way just to face up to it rationally the people of the USA are mighty lucky people the way they can live thus my sweet I pray you see that I’m really in the mood to take what’s coming the only regret is you for that as you said one year is very small compared to that lifetime we have ahead of us pining hearts are not the way to face it saving up for that time when we get together is not the means either there are lives and times we must live apart and live them with our whole being for the richer and understanding of all things that we are as individuals then the wealthier we will be as a couple I have no fears for the future not one for with you as being my favourite backer and complete understanding I can ask for no more our love is here to stay that meeting we will have for the first time and then know everything is all right you cannot plan on what you will say or what you will do it will all be swept away from both of us the moment will rule all I’m not afraid of that either my darling we do have the intangibles yes we will both have changed and will have grown then there is always that lifetime to get to know one another each will benefit from the other that is the way men life should be it all goes back to Joe savor you have to take a chance on yourself love Barry [Music] you

100 thoughts on “The Letter That Changed My Life

  1. Really, REALLY, good video. Loved it. Editing was fantastic, everything just worked. And especially the ending, calm fade to black. Often youtube videos just stop, audio and picture just stops in middle of some song or something. It fitted the mood.


  2. Found this video by complete accident, but it has made a deep impact upon me. Thank you for sharing this beautiful message 🙂 Now onto doing hard work and not remaining like Joe Saver!

  3. Hi Will, This letter is astonishingly beautiful, It really has moved me.

    Would you mind scanning the letter in and uploading it, as i'd love to pin the original written text up on my wall. if thats not too much to ask



  4. Thank you for sharing this, please never take down this video because I intend to return to it whenever I feel demoralized.

    Your grandfather must have been a great man, and from all I've seen on your channel, you probably are to. Thanks again.

  5. Hey, i really liked this, it moved me so much, specially because i see a lot of Joe Saver inside me… Anyone has some advice on how to avoid being so much of a Joe saver? I really try to be better, but it is so hard, it's so hard to accept the fact that we have to do stuff that we don't like…

  6. Time slips as we wait for better conditions and opportunity, especially during the economic slump. I think paradoxically Joe Saver is trying to avoid wasting his life living for the future, by rejecting a linear career path in education or work, or something his heart isn't totally aligned with. But rejection, or the half-hearted acceptance of romanticism, often compounds our misery. Perhaps there's a middle way; the integration of realism and idealism, opportunity and commitment, presence and passion.

  7. Why are there not more thoughtful channels like this one out there? So glad I came across yours.

  8. i don't know why but this video made me cry and I'm not the sentimental type. It is partially beacuse I always see myself as an underachiever and procrastinator. Thank you so much for sharing this

  9. That was the most inspirational letter i have ever heard , this has changed my perspective on alot of things , what i have learnt from this might be different from what others have been gifted from it ,but that singularly depends on who you are.
    From the bottom of my heart, thank you

  10. This video made my cry twice. I've rewatched it so much, and this advice will follow me to the grave. THANK YOU

  11. Chills man, chills. ✋ ✋ ✋ s down the best YouTube channel I've discovered in 2017. All the best.

  12. Your videos are beautiful! I hope you can make more in-depth analysis on comedy and comedy as an occupation 🙂

  13. I'm thankful that your Grandfather existed, so that his wise words could be passed down to us.

    Thank you, Will.

  14. your videos are an inspiration to me keep it going, I wanted to learn to make videos just like you, if you could suggest any sources I can learn from I'd be really grateful

  15. I like the statement "if you don't give everything to what you are doing, is it really worth doing." But the problem, I take with the rest of it is that you should get to chose what you are doing. Like if you want to make youtube videos or be an artist, YES, you should give as much as you can and work HARD. And sure being positive and open to new things is good, but if your forced into a war you don't believe in (like Vietnam) and have to kill people you don't want to, is that really worth "Giving it your all?" Also Giving your all to a crappy minimum wage job, just so you can survive, like saying working 100% and MacDonalds…you don't care, your forced to do this just to survive I don't think working to the bone for something you don't believe in matters. That's kinda bullshit to be honest, you should work hard for what you want to do and believe in. Not causes or things you think are pointless or harmful to others.

  16. Did this letter really change your life? And if so, was it the letter that did the heavy lifting? Genuinely curious.

    I didn't really like it, thought grandpa was a bit preachy, self congratulating. There's a whole industry dedicated to curing the apathy and disillusionment of modern man. From energy drinks, to books, to motivational speakers – all pushing motivation, inspiration, pep, purpose and meaning. And failing. The letter reads like a prototype of that.
    While no stranger to being swept up in the excitement of adventure, discovery and learning, or to working feverishly into the night motivated purely by an inner drive – i am Joe Saver. I don't hold back, because there's nothing to hold back, and the race alone, getting ahead in it, is not enough. All this talk about giving it your all sure sounds heroic, but most things out there aren't worth it. And when the drudgery and futility of it hits you, and it will hit you sooner than later, it's hard to trick yourself into enthusiasm. So now you're supposed to feel guilt over doing things half-assed?
    Your grandpa went to war expecting adventure and a chance to prove himself. What about when he came back, was he still writing the same letters?

  17. Dear Will, Thanks for making this video about your grandfather. My grandfather served in the second world war and he had a big influence on me growing up. He had that idea, too: that everyone has a duty and that service is also a learning experience. He was never afraid of being sincere. I loved your analysis of postmodern irony and faux-disinterest. That would not have impressed my grandfather. I am glad to remember that. Thanks.

  18. Never supported a Patreon before but man, this just blew me away. Guess it's time. Looking forward to more videos man, great work.

  19. I just want to say, your videos are so in depth and meaningful. Your grandfather was a very smart young man. Very inspiring. Thank you,

  20. This quickly has become one of my favorite channels. I appreciate the honesty and care you put into each video. I loved everything about this. Thank you for making my night and I will be supporting you on Patreon very soon =) You deserve every penny for the work you do.

  21. You've earned my bell, the first and only bell. Thank you for making such beautifully crafted videos in every sense from meaningful content, appropriate music and silence, and engaging visuals. I hope the Youtube algorithms favor you well and look forward to your next masterpiece.

  22. Wow amazing video. I am so glad I found this channel. I'm honestly really thankful for your videos. Hopefully you keep going with your great work!

  23. your grandfather is now touching even more souls through you! The value of hard work was instilled in me as well through my father. But one thing that didn't occur to me was how fully separate a couple must be at times and how that actually strengthens them both individually as well as together.

  24. Profound. Very moving as well. Reminds me of college. I floated and got by. I had a professor who challenged me. He gave me an automatic F on my paper for not doing my best. Others had given me A's or B's. In shock and anger I did my best on the next one. Yeah! That'll show him! He smiled and gave me an A-. Later I had that same professor for a pottery throwing class. I learned that doing your best was not just for academics. I couldn't get the clay to center on the wheel. It just wobbled around in my hands. He kept yelling at me to push! I yelled back that I WAS pushing! I decided to show him how hard I was pushing and attempted to move the clay completely off the turntable and onto the floor. Suddenly it centered. Hmm. Imagine that! I learned a lot from that professor AND from your grandfather. Thanks for sharing his wisdom.

  25. While I definitely appreciate the sentiment I can't help but think that letter was written by with all the unrestrained hope and naïveté of a young man. After all he sees War as a great opportunity for personal growth.

  26. Thank you for sharing that personal and profound sentiment with the world so that others can be enriched by it. It made my day. 🙂

  27. This is only the second video I've watched from you, but this earned my subscription. I'm looking forward to it!

  28. Hej Will, i have seen this video quite a few times since you posted it. I enjoy it a lot!!
    It has helped me in some way 🙂
    But i never understand the title you gave the video in the beginning. "The lost art of letter writing". Can you elaborate on that 🙂 Thanks

  29. I just started studying at collage. After watching this and giving some time to seriously reflect and be sincere with myself, I realised that I've half-assed essentially everything through my life for fear that my best won't cut it anyways. "Better to mock the game than to play and lose" and all that. But thinking back, there's very little that I'm proud of. I got one guaranteed life, and it's time to start living the shit out of it.

  30. This was great… would you please repost the letter? Seems like the link doesn’t work anymore, and I would like to save it. I would like to share it with others if thats ok :).

  31. Your grandfather seems to have been a great man. I too wish to be as half as good as he was, but wishing will not get me there. After watching this video I am committed to do.

  32. I've have just come a cross two of your videos and I loved them. Deep and sincere.

    I'd love to have the content of the letter though. The link referring to full text of the letter is going nowhere .

    Keep up the good work

  33. Thank you, Will, for somehow getting around to sharing something so deep down personal and precious to you. It's of immense value to us. I never got to see my grandfather in person, but I am sure that growing around one might have been a very enriching experience.
    Taking some takeaways from the video which I will try to implement in my life hereonafter, persevering through some tough times currently. I feel fortunate that I subscribed to you. Much love from India. 🙂

  34. This is excellent. We should all strive to do the best at whatever it is that we have chosen to do, or that we must do. My only critique is that we also should question whether it is just to go to war, and whether it is just to spend gargantuan sums of taxpayer money on wars beyond our borders – to force other cultures to live as we demand. We should always question our governments, our corporations, our politicians, and their motives (hint: it's almost always about money). Essentially, I don't think anybody should BE in the marine corps., because to do so is to subjugate your moral autonomy and to put yourself in the position where another person can send you off, not just to die, but to kill others too – and all for a goal that you may not agree with. But, once in the Corp., you have no choice (unless you decide to refuse, and go to jail, which still may then be the best option). So, I heard this as your grandfather already being in the Corp., seeing some value in the goal, but mainly that he accepted he had to go – and decided to do his best given that reality, as he aimed to do in all things in his life. That is a noble and correct way to live, and I think at the time few Americans questioned the motives. But, now we know better. We know that Nixon ordered the ousting of Allende (a democratically-elected leader in Chile) and installed Pinochet, a dictator, instead. We know that Iraq never had WMDs and that Halliburton – Dick Cheney's pals – made billions off that war. We know that weapons companies bribe generals and that the USA spends more than the next 10 countries COMBINED on weapons to kill – all while citizens don't even have $400 to spare if an emergency arises. So, do your best, but also do not subjugate your moral authority to powers that will abuse you and take advantage of your positive work ethic!

  35. I watched this video when you posted it two years ago. It’s incredibly powerful and has stayed with me since. I rewatch it occasionally, just as I am now, and it is a source of inspiration. Thank you for creating and sharing this. Your grandfather was an incredible person.

  36. I bet you feel as lucky and as appreciative for having him in your life as you should. I can't think of a better gift to someone who wrote that later than to have a grandson as wise and thoughtful as you, seriously, my grandfather was a cop in the Bronx, moonlighted as a cabbie, an old Irish storyteller type – I never showed him what i wanted to though, was never mature enough. I sincerely hope you had more luck with that. Cheers

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