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The Famous "Paul Harvey" Riddle

Updated on September 7, 2018
Mickie Gee profile image

Mickie is a retired librarian who loves to tinker around the house. Everywhere she looks, she sees possibility!

A Paul Harvey Riddle--In an Emai?

Have you received and email recently with this statement? "Here is a pretty neat little thing from a great reporter, Paul Harvey."

(NOTE: This email essay is attributed to Paul Harvey, as it has circled the Internet for some time now. But, Paul Harvey did not write it. The true author, Lee Pitts, published the essay in 2000 in the book "Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul); Paul Harvey did use material written by Lee Pitts from time to time, and he did read this particular essay (crediting Pitts, of course) during his September 6, 1997 broadcast.)

Like you in my email I was asked to send this to 11 people. This really ticked me off.

After all, I mean really, does the sender think that I have nothing better to do with my time?

See if you can guess the riddle at the end. Oh, and by the way, kindergarten children were never polled about this Paul Harvey riddle.

Cogitate on it.

Mr. Harvey passed away in early 2009. He will be missed.

Cheerful sunflowers (Paul Harvey (not the journalist)) / CC BY-SA 2.0 (actual photo url: Hope this photo makes you smile.

The "Paul Harvey Riddle" came from this book: - And that is a fact.

Chicken Soup can cure almost anything. Consider buying a copy or checking it out from the library. Thanks

Paul Harvey 1918-2009 - Paul Harvey was a great radio journalist!

You might remember listening to Paul Harvey on the radio. He came on at noon. Listeners loved the drama in his voice. One might not always agree with Mr. Harvey's slant on the stories, but one know that he would allow us our own opinions. Listeners would hope that he was that kind of man.

Introduction to the Paul Harvey Riddle

Paul Harvey reads:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse.

For my grandchildren, I'd like better.

I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches.

I really would.

Mr. Harvey continues reading:

(remember, the writer is addressing grandchildren)

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

The Basset Hound Image used with permission of Mickie_G

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

Image of the little boy courtesy of Mickie_G

If your sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it..

And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go

fishing with your Uncle.

Image of Grandpa and Bubbie courtesy Mickie_G

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hannukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

Image courtesy Mickie_G

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.

Send this to all of your friends. We secure our friends, not by accepting favors, but by doing them.

Here Is A Hint To The Answer To The Riddle!

The email ends this way:

P.S. You won't believe this, but forwarding this might give you the answer to the riddle. Send this to others and then press shift, after you send.

Once you press your shift key, you will understand the riddle.

Hint: what happens on your computer screen when you hit the shift key?

Paul Harvey on Amazon

If you need more inspiration from Paul Harvey---


The Riddle: What is greater than God, More evil than the devil, The poor have it, The rich need it, And if you eat it, you'll die?

Click HERE for The answer to the Riddle

I didn't guess the answer, but I did an internet search and found it.

So, this email did make me use my brain. I guess it was worth the time?

What do you think?

© 2008 Mickie Goad

Did You Guess the Answer To the Riddle? - If not, then the answer link is here----

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    • TerriCarr profile image


      4 years ago

      Cute riddle. I am never any good at guessing those. But I remember Paul Harvey. He was kind of a treasure of a bygone era. I don't know if there is anyone quite like that anymore. Well, there is NPR and Ira Glass.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      "NOTHING". That Is The Only Answer It Could Be

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice Squidoo. Very enjoyable and interesting to read. Chris

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I didn't get the riddle but going to test it out on my 6 year old later today. ;)

      I once had to drive across country - just my big, fat, Persian cat and I. I listened to a lot of Paul Harvey on that trip and loved his stories! Always thought provoking.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      9 years ago

      [in reply to del] Thanks, Del. I made a note of this in the intro.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Many things on the 'net are attributed to national radio commentator Paul Harvey. Some are similar to his "Rest of the Story" theme, but others, like this one, don't really sound Harvey-esque. Harvey does have some connection to this piece, but saying that it is "from Paul Harvey" is a bit misleading.

      Though Harvey read the essay above on his radio program in 1997, he did not write it. It was originally titled "These things I wish for you," and the author was Lee Pitts. It existed in many forms before it was read by Harvey and published in Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul in 2000. The Harvey attribution may be because the theme of the essay is similar to other essays that have been misattributed to him.

      The essay circulated alone before the riddle was attached. Just as with the essay, Harvey did not create the riddle. He may have featured it on his show, but I've been unable to verify that. Given no reliable source, there is no reason to believe the statistics. In

    • mosaic lm profile image

      mosaic lm 

      10 years ago

      Hahaha I enjoyed the riddle!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I just realised. Than when you press the shift button, nothing happens. This is also the answer to the question. This is a smart riddle!



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