The Thought for the Day – A Quote From Dragnet

{We thank you for the opportunity to gather} for one of life’s great prizes – the chance to work hard at work worth doing. – From Dragnet


Dragnet was an American radio and television show that ran intermittently in various incarnations from 1949-70. It was the brainchild of producer Jack Webb, who played Joe Friday of the Los Angeles Police Department. Friday was usually a sergeant, though in the late 1950’s he was promoted to lieutenant for a while. Regular readers of this crap will recognize the “one of life’s great prizes” line. This is where we stole it from.

Today’s Thought comes from an episode of the late 1960’s TV show where Friday’s partner Bill Gannon drags him to a prayer breakfast before they start in on their days detecting. The LAPD chaplain who gave the invocation used this line, though years later we saw the episode again and it was slightly different than how we remembered it.

The work that we find to be worth doing doesn’t have to make news or make us rich, it merely has to be something that is important to us. It could be the day’s work that earns our living or the effort we put into cultivating the skills we were born with, work which if done diligently and courageously will ensure we are living the life we were meant to lead, itself one of life’s great prizes.

Our own personal example is sports officiating. Though more or less retired now, we put a lot of work into the trade and were rewarded with a satisfying and accomplished career as a high school sports official. Now, there are a billion Chinese who couldn’t care less about our officiating career but it was important to me. It was hard work that was worth doing, so I  did it.

…the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Whatever we choose to do, be it earning a living or cultivating the talents we were issued at birth, it must be challenging if there is going to be any reward. It must be worth working hard at. It must be worth the work it takes to do well.

What that work is could be anything and is totally dependent on what we are good at and what we want to accomplish. For Joe Friday and Bill Gannon, it was a day of police work. For us, it is making sure you have something substantive and entertaining to read every day. What great prize is awaiting you? What hard work is worth doing for you?

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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