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Barry Shore

Mr. Duffy I presume

The Ambassador of Joy, Barry Shore, is THRILLED to Share one of America’s most prolific film producers, directors, professors and motivational speakers: the inimitable John Duffy. John’s journey took him from “The South South Bronx to Hollywood” and from “The Ghetto to Greatness”, dropping out of High School at age 15 to today. He has produced over 40 feature films.John is also very active in military veteran support. He recently became an Ambassador for Operation Gratitude which is a national volunteer organization that has sent over 3 million care packages to the troops and now has a campaign to write letters of support to all the police officers in New York City. You’ll lean in to hear great stories from both John and Barry about journeys and personal development. And You’ll laugh out loud as we discuss titles of his memoirs: Black Irish: Not Your Average White Boy….and…from Mao to Reagan, A Born Again American. Yes, this is a WOW Show. SHARE with 5 People that You care about.

Listen to the podcast here:

Show Notes:

  • 00:45 – Barry’s rousing introduction
  • 14:17 – Mr. Duffy I presume
  • 24:40 – What’s fear?
  • 41:55 –I thought communism was that better world but…
  • 52:21- Barry’s Interesting Wrap-up

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Barry Shore:

I can’t think of anybody that inspires noble deeds that I want to share with you more than the amazing, wonderful, fabulous John Duffy. John, please say hello to 358,227 people around the world.

John Duffy:

Greetings, everybody. Happy New Year. And thank you, Barry, for bringing me on your show what a great way to start off the new year. What a great way for all of us to start off the new year to be able to watch your show. So we all need to say thank you. Thank you, Barry, for bringing your message to us. So I appreciate it and thank you so much.

Barry Shore:

Well, see that’s the essence of John. Now, you’re seeing three things about John. And if you’re only listening, you pick it up right away. That is not a phony accent. We’re going to talk a lot about that. This is really deep, New York Bronx accent. I mean, he comes from there, and you can’t ever remove that from the being, he doesn’t want to by the way. Because that’s what really stimulates him to talk about being courageous under all circumstances no matter what the situation. So, let’s just jump right in John, and talk about what it means to be in this year, we’re now in 2022, let’s all say that the panic is over. The pandemic may still be politicians want to always create difficulties. But let’s say, when it comes to a normal human being courageous in 2022, what is it we can do? Give us some road to run on?

John Duffy:

I have a saying, live courageously, and faith over fear. And I just think that we always have a choice. And sometimes we may not realize we have a choice but we have a choice in whatever life throws at us. Our choice is how to respond, how to do what we need to do with life. And so, in the last couple of years unfortunately we’ve been promoted fear, and a lot of people have accepted and bought that fear instead of choosing to be courageous. And because of that their life has become smaller and more limited because of them buying into the fear. And I say, you have to buy into courage. And courage is what you need to adopt. And if you live courageously you’re able to face no matter what life throws at you, you’re able to go out there be brave, and find a way to make the world as you say, a better place, your MAD, make a difference. And I think that’s what we need to do. And we have to make a difference courageously.

Barry Shore:

And when was the last time somebody said FU to you and you laughed?

John Duffy:

Well, not in that concept, well, you right now. Outside of that, I’ve never heard that one before but I love it. It’s a good way to reframe something like you were talking about NLP, neuro-linguistic programming. I studied that many years ago as well with Tony Robbins, and being able to reframe words and reframe and experience is a very powerful tool. And we can use that in life. And you do that by using that acronym FUN. You reframe it from what we think it is, to something that’s much better, and clearly is fun.

Barry Shore:

This is so spot-on for John. We’re going to go deep into what he does and such. Because in addition to being a friend and a handsome, debonair being with remarkable gifts, and talents, he’s a film producer. He’s a professor, a motivational speaker, and he has a powerful message, and it is FU to fear, and that’s really the key. Now, we all know or we think we know fear stands for false expectations appearing real. Now, there are other acronyms that are more positive but let’s just focus on this one moment. Because for good or ill it is exactly what the political structure in the United States of America has used as a lever and maybe even a stick, a cudgel we’ll call it, to beat people who don’t have either the choice or the ability to recognize that they have the choice into believing that they are smaller than they are. So, I’d like you to share with us based on your abilities, again, as a film producer, director, and I’d like you to bring in some of what you’ve just recently participated in, in Canada. What it is as a script you see? And how do we change the script? Because a movie is a script, and they have an outcome. Well, this outcome could be pretty nasty if people let it continue. How do we change the script, Producer, Director?

John Duffy:

Well, I love that metaphor because when you think about it, Barry, life is a story. And we have a chance to tell empowering, powerful stories with our life, or we can tell a tragic story. And unfortunately, too many of us let other people write the script of our life. They write the story of our life, they tell us that we’re victims, they tell us that we need to be limited, that if we start out as I did in poverty in the South Bronx that we always are poor, and we can’t get out of that. So, if we let other people write our scripts we live a tragic life, we live a limited life. We live a life that isn’t a movie you want to go see because it’s negative, it turns you off. So, realizing that we have the power to write the script of our life, a life that inspires people, that entertains people, that makes them want to be the best that they can be with their life. That’s what we get. We are the writer, we’re the director, we’re the actor, and we’re the star of our life. So, let’s take control of our life as that person and write the best script, live the best life, tell the best story with your life, and that’s what you can do. And you have the power to do it. We all do. If me, a kid from ghetto in the South Bronx dropping out of high school at 15 years old can have gone on this journey anybody can, I’m not special, I’m just somebody who put in the time, the work, and the effort to get to where I am. And everybody else can do it if I can do it.

Barry Shore:

And he’s a white boy from the ghetto. I want everybody to understand that. Yes, indeed. And I want to go back to a couple of things you said that are so vital. Number one is the V-word. You see yourself either as a victim or a victor. See, life is digital. It’s funny that people say we live in the digital age, which is true. The computers, the digital age. John, you and I both grew up in an Analog age, meaning, now people can’t understand this but there used to be things called television sets, which people think they know what a TV is but they think it’s a flat-screen but it had tubes in the back. Analog means that you could test and say which tube is not working. So if you take out one tube, it doesn’t work, you go to the store, and most people don’t know the story, you go to a place and you can buy a new tube, put it back in, it’ll work. Well, you can’t do that on a digital device. Digital devices are either on or off. That helps us understand that you’re either a victim or a victor. It can’t be wishy-washy one day the other way. You either are or you’re not, and it’s up to you to choose. Now, you use the word inspire, everybody, and I think this is true. Everybody aspires to be the actor or the actress in the film. The big star. And yet if you ask, do you want to be that, yeah, but that means you have to reframe your mindset to be a victor. Oh, can I do that? In other words, you have to step up and use courage. Courage, there’s a great quote from Ernest Hemingway grace under pressure. So you grew up under pressure, you found grace, and you became a victor. And as we said when introducing you, keep inspiring noble deeds because that’s what you do. I’m going to throw something at you it’s going to make you laugh out loud but that’s who you are. Are you ready, John? John Duffy is a porn star. I told you it was going to make you laugh. What do you mean a porn star, Barry? Well, here’s the acronym for porn star, power of related narrative, storytelling, arousing response. See, that’s what you do. You use storytelling to arouse response. Let’s go and talk about when you just came back from spending many weeks in Canada with a big film crew and a particular person who was a star of movies for a while and tell what it is that you were doing, and how you brought this potential to the screen to be seen God willing by millions and millions of people.

John Duffy:

So, I just came back from making a feature film, a rather short and very compressed eight weeks in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and that’s in the middle of the country. It’s the second time I’ve made a movie up there. And I went up there as a line producer of a feature film. This particular one is called Left Behind. It’s part of the left behind book series. And the director, Kevin Sorbo, who was Hercules for many, many years on TV was known for that. He’s a director and actor, a friend, just a great inspiring human being. So, it’s the second movie that I’ve supported him in as a producer and line producer. The other one we did three years ago up in the same place Calgary called Miracle in East Texas, which was a true story, which will be coming out next year, which is a great movie as well. And I hope everybody gets to see it. But we went up there and we had a short period of time. I went up there, I had two weeks to prep a movie that normally takes six weeks to prep. I had two weeks before we started shooting. We started shooting, we had four weeks to shoot this movie, and we lucked up in that the weather stayed good enough where it was cold but it was good enough for no challenges for us. We got through the four weeks, finished the movie, wrapped it up, and I got home. But the most important thing about it besides that was the experience, Barry. A lot of times in Hollywood people who are Hollywood bring a different kind of thing to people. They come with arrogance, narcissism, a different kind of thing. And when we came, my whole team, Kevin, myself, my producing partner, we come with a thing where we basically turn everybody into family, and we treat everybody like family. And so, then we have a great experience because all of us are a family working together to do the best that we can and we lift each other up in the process. We’re there to support each other. So, instead of it being hard we make it easy, we make the impossible possible, and we have a great time. And we have fun the whole time we’re doing it. So what seems like a hot job to me is the easiest job I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve worked in factories, I worked in the post office, I drove cabs, I’ve done hard work, and I know hard work. Now, I get a chance to do something creative with people and tell a story that can entertain and inspire them, and have a great time working with great people in the process. I’m blessed. I mean, how blessed can you be, to me, to come from where I came from to be able to contribute in this way? I stay thankful every day and grateful.

Barry Shore:

So I’m telling you, hundreds and hundreds of people are putting up comments and such. We have a worldwide audience. A very large contingent from India, subcontinent, even from communist China. And I say, Communist China because it is. As well as Taiwan, a separate country. [Unintelligible: 21:04], Australia, throughout Africa, Europe, the United States, of course, Latin America. And people are shaking their heads up and down, yes, to hear your words, and what it is that you brought to us. I want to unpack a little bit of it. Because yes, there is this notion of Hollywood, and it equals what you said, for the most part, arrogance, narcissism, and a me-orientation. What you’ve brought along with Kevin and the team was a US situation. Us stands for in my vocabulary, united souls. And in order to do that, you have to see other beings as part of your own soul. But that presupposes something. We’re going to use a three-letter word here, God. Actually, it’s a four-letter word, G-A-W-D, Gawd. And I think the Left Behind series is oriented that way. When you go into your life, in any given situation, whether it’s making a movie, driving a cab, cooking food for the family, whatever the situation is, if God becomes the thriving dynamic, then you can create a family-oriented situation. And then you bring together everybody’s positive, purposeful, powerful energies. Is that fair to say, John?

John Duffy:

I would agree. I mean, I would say, if you’re looking at my life, Barry, and I say it when I speak. I didn’t always see it this way but when I did see it, it became a new way of realizing life is that God had a bigger plan for my life than I had for myself. Because where I am today, and what I do, and everything that goes along with it comes from that bigger plan, and the doors open for me and I went through them. But I didn’t open all the doors, a lot of them opened up for me and kind of surprised the hell out of me, quite frankly, that I got to see what was on the other side, and I went through. So who I am today I give thanks and credit for that, that God had that bigger plan for me. And there’s been a lot of miracles in my life that I still just am blown away with every time I reflect back on my life, that those experiences happened to me. I mean, I never would have expected that where I came from.

Barry Shore:

So this is a very important aspect. And again, I emphasize that we have a worldwide audience of people who don’t necessarily have the opportunities that exist in the United States of America, even in today’s the United States of America, which is under siege by the way. I’m letting everybody know. America is the last best hope in the world for not just freedom but freedom of thought, freedom of purpose, and recognizing, as you said so eloquently, John, that God has a bigger plan for you than you think you had. You see, to think I have a big plan, somebody says well, that’s ego. On the contrary, if you have a big plan but it’s all about you then that could be ego. If you think there is a bigger plan but you know that there’s a creator in the world then that’s not ego that’s saying I’m here to serve. [Crosstalk: 24:35-24:38]. By the way, that’s what John Duffy is. You see, when he talks about winning courageously, he means winning courageously as a servant even though he said, well, I’m the producer, director on the line, which means he’s the leader of that group. But you can only become a leader when you’re a great servant. In my humble opinion.

John Duffy:

I would agree. I think the people who are most special to me in my life are people who I call servant warriors. They’re people who are out there at service in all different capacities. I’m an ambassador with Operation Gratitude. I do a lot of different things. And the people I know who are out there giving to make a better world, to make a difference, those servants are the people that I model myself on and honor. In the film industry, I came across Gary Sinise, and he is an incredible servant warrior who serves military veterans and their families, first responders. And he sets a role model for how you can be a leader in the industry but be a servant primarily. And I think that’s something I model myself on.

Barry Shore:

So let’s talk about model. You said, role model. And let’s talk about Gary Sinise, again, worldwide audience so not everybody knows. But give a little bit of background about Gary in terms of his persona on television, movies, and such but more so about what he does. So, let’s start with the simplest stuff because you need some notoriety in order to be able to become a better role model. So tell us who is Gary Sinise, and why is he your role model?

John Duffy:

Well, he was obviously an Acting star, he was in Forrest Gump. That’s probably the one that people remember him the most from, Lieutenant Dan. He played Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump. Of course, he’s been on many TV shows, CSI, all kinds of different TV shows that he’s played over the years. He wasn’t in the military but he came from a family who served in the military, family, friends, and he felt that he had a bigger purpose and mission, as you talked about earlier about purpose. And his purpose was to be more than just an actor and a star and somebody in Hollywood. But to have a bigger purpose and mission in life and he chose the purpose ND mission to serve our military, our veterans, and their families. And he created his band, Lieutenant Dan’s band, which is based on the character in the movie, and they went all over the world to military bases, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, everywhere he could go performing for free for the military, and veterans. And so, he went out there becoming a servant warrior. And then he started a foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation. I got a chance to meet him multiple, multiple times, and watch him perform at the GI Film Festival in Washington, DC that I took a film that I directed called The Flag. When you look at life in my industry, he’s somebody who doesn’t talk the talk, he walks his talk. So he does it by being an example of what you can do if you want to make a difference in the world. So, I always admire people like that. And I say, if I can create that kind of thing in my life I’ll be really happy. So that’s part of who I want to be as well.

Barry Shore:

So, when you talk about living courageously in 2022, courage is part of the warrior code. But I urge people to understand that when John is talking about a warrior, we’re talking about a servant warrior. It is so important to understand that adjectives modifiers make a difference. Because a warrior alone could be somebody that is involved with the war. A servant warrior understands the mission. And the mission is key. And mission needs to be founded and rooted in everything that brings goodness and benefit in the world. There are people who call themselves warriors around the world today, and their objective is to cut off heads or subdue people in a physical, mental and spiritual way. Those are not warriors. Those are cowards.

John Duffy:

I agree. Terrorists and cowards agreed.

Barry Shore:

Terrorists and cowards. John is talking about servant warrior as he says, and I love it. I want you to say the W. He has another www which is, we will win. That’s your www, right?

John Duffy:

That’s right. I’m just thinking when you were talking about fear earlier, the acronym for fear, which you gave, the alternative one to that which I’ve heard, Pit Bull has a song for last year called face everything and rise. And I love that saying, that’s what we should do face everything and rise. And I love the way he puts those words out there but I think we will win. And I don’t know if you know my journey because you know so much of it, Barry. Besides being that white kid in the South Bronx, it took me on a political journey too. When I was a young kid I hung out with [crosstalk: 30:24].

Barry Shore:

Let’s put you on pause there because that’s how we do the great podcast. Keep people on the edge of their seats and say there’ll be more of this amazing John Duffy coming back right after these brief messages from people who love sponsoring this show because people love listening. There will be more Duffy on the way back and get ready for the journey. 

Barry Shore:

Good day beautiful, bountiful, beloved, immortal beings and good-looking people. And remember you’re good-looking because you’re always looking for and finding the good. Our cup runneth over with good. Two-legged being from the South Bronx, a white boy from the ghetto named John Duffy, and he’s about to talk to us about joy because joy stands for journey of you. That’s what joy stands for, John. So, you’re about to tell us about probably your second memoir, you’ve written two memoirs. The first one, both intriguing titles, of course, “Black Irish, Not Your Average White Boy,” what a great title. And the second one is “Mile to Reagan, a Born Again American.” Everybody knows this but I’m going to say it again, just lean in and listen to what John has to say in the transformative information. And all you have to do is go to my website barryshore.com and everything about John Duffy is there. You don’t have to write anything down, don’t remember just go to barryshore.com, and it’s all John Duffy stuff right there. So, John, talk to us about Mile to Reagan, born again American.

John Duffy:

Helen Keller says life is either a great adventure or nothing at all, and my life has been that great adventure, for sure. And I wrote A Mile to Reagan memoir during COVID, I took advantage of the time to sit down, and it’s not like I love writing but I felt I had to tell the story because I’ve been given great stories. And as I said, God has had a bigger plan for me, and I’ve been given great stories. So, when I dropped out of high school in the South Bronx I was the only white kid but I was part of the neighborhood, everybody else. I hung out with the Black Panthers, I hung out with the black Muslims, I became radicalized, and I was a poor kid, a ghetto kid. And as that radicalization went on I ended up getting to a point where I became a Maoist communist leader. And I know you have a big audience in China, and then also in the free country of Taiwan. But at the age of 26, still was a high school dropout, I led a trip to Communist China. First to Communist Yugoslavia, and then into communist China, met with the communist leadership in China, went to Beijing, Shanghai, North Korean border, a bunch of places. And so here I was a 26-year-old kid drop out, a Maoist leader and a believer, a true believer at the time, and working to basically overthrow the US government. So, that’s what my identity at that point was. But some things happened, and I started to see behind the curtain. Because the reason I became a radical and a communist was, I thought that that was going to create a utopia, better world, and I wanted a better world. And I wanted a world where we didn’t live in poverty, and my friends weren’t in the situation that they were in, where a lot of my friends became heroin addicts and died from heroin. I wanted a better world. I thought communism was that better world but I got to see behind the curtain, and I got to start to have these lightbulb moments where I started to see that what was really being created under communism wasn’t utopia but was a hell, it was a nightmare, dictatorship, and you lacked freedom, and you lacked the ability to be who you could be. And so it took a while. It wasn’t a one moment where I woke up one day and went, wow. But it took a while, and I started to get disillusioned. And I started moving away from that religion because it was a religion without a God is what I say. And I started to have to find who I was again. And then 911 happened, and I was a New Yorker. And when that happened it rocked my world. Because I was, quite frankly, on the side of the people who at the end of the day were responsible for that, the terrorists, the people who supported the terrorist like the communists. And I had to look at my life and say, this is what you believe, wrong, this is what you believe, wrong. And I went through all my beliefs and realized how I was wrong on so many things. And I recreated myself and that’s when I said, I became a born-again American. I began to see that my parents, two Irish poor people from Ireland, came to America to give me the American dream that I didn’t appreciate. I grew to appreciate and recognize the American dream. I got to learn all that and become who I am. And then new doors opened, then I got to work with the Marine Corps, and I got to meet all the people that I’ve gotten to meet since because I changed. I recreated myself in a new identity as somebody who was a servant, somebody who took responsibility for their life, wasn’t a victim anymore. And so I began to recreate myself. And that’s taken me on the journey to where I am today with all the things I’ve done in the film industry, speaking, none of which I would have done if I stayed that same person. So, that’s why I say God had a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.

Barry Shore:

So, you were able to go deep into the pit of hell, let’s call it the seven cycle, into Dante’s Inferno, thinking that it was really Miami Beach, and recognizing that it wasn’t

John Duffy:

That’s right. 

Barry Shore:

That it was a massive indoctrination camp that maintained people in the victim status because if they even thought they could be victors, then they would flee from their persecutors and say, no, I am a servant warrior.

John Duffy:

Yeah, and I’ll give you one example that was a lightbulb moment for me because during that period of time, you may remember in Cambodia the communist Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot had taken power. How can we forget? So of all the worst communists, they were the worst of the worst in what they were doing to their country. But China supported them, we supported them. And in New York, I had some Cambodian friends, students who were going to school in New York who supported the communists in Cambodia. They were just college students. And the communist regime of Pol Pot asked these students to come back to Cambodia to help build the communist utopia that they supposedly were going to be building. So these Cambodian students, Barry, got on a plane went to Pnom Penh to support their communist utopia, got off the plane, and got shot dead on the runway because they were Bourgeois. So they were brought back by the communists to kill them. And that was a moment where I went, whoa, that’s utopia. No, that’s a freaking nightmare. And then you see the killing fields of Pol Pot, and what he did to his people, 3 million Cambodians killed and massacred, turning kids against their parents. That was the horror that they created all in the “name of utopia.”

Barry Shore:

Part of what John is sharing with us right now, in my humble opinion, has rarely been spoken of by “regular human beings.” You see, it’s one thing for a leader, as we’ll call it, political leader, who is anti-communist to speak out, well, that’s what they’re supposed to do. But to hear it from a regular human being who was able to look hell in the face and say wrong, I refuse to be a victim, to recognize that the regime that he believed in was really a killing field. And it didn’t just apply, by the way, as you say, to the Cambodians, which was the worst of the worst, it was endemic to that philosophy. It is the opposite of what freedom is about. See, freedom is not just hey, I can do whatever I want leave me alone. That’s dumb. Freedom is the ability to recognize that there is a place for people to live together in harmony, and still discuss and have different opinions. The communist way is that one opinion is the only opinion. And if it’s not, and you don’t share it, then you are out. Which by the way, I think I’ll be very bold by saying this is part of what’s called the cancel culture in America today, primarily espoused by, as you said, the Hollywood world. In other words, Hollywood elites, almost by definition, live in narcissism. And narcissism says the word ego. Now, I know you may know this John because you’ve been around a lot of stuff. Ego is an amazing acronym that stands for edging God out. That’s what ego does. The more me the less God, the less me the more God. And God knows that there’s a bigger plan, not that you’re nothing. On the contrary, you’re something but you can only be something when you’re in humility. So it’s contradictory but it means you have to think. And thinking is really the greatest enemy of the communist process. Is it not true?

John Duffy:

I agree. About a year ago, maybe less I don’t remember, I was interviewed on Epic Times, and I did a show on cancel culture. And they interviewed me for an hour on cancel culture. And I shared some of my experiences, my beliefs on what I think about that whole phenomenon that is kind of destroying our culture, and how negative it is. Because as you said, what’s great about our country, what’s great about freedom is that we can disagree with each other. And as a matter of fact, that’s not a bad thing. That’s really a good thing. Because at the end of the day, an artist, a creator, a writer, a dancer sees the world differently than a business person, a banker, an engineer. And that’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. We’re not all going to see the world or experience the world the same. But we should be able to dialogue and respect each other, respect our differences and respect the fact that we’re not going to agree on everything. But if you’re a good person I’m going to be your friend even if you disagree with me, I don’t care. That’s fine. I’m not afraid of your ideas that are different than mine. They don’t hurt me. As a matter of fact, I might learn something. So, why am I afraid of having a dialogue with people who have a different opinion than me? I look forward to that. But nowadays it’s so hard to have that because people can’t come from a place of let’s start from respecting each other, let’s start from looking at what’s great about each other, and then we can get into some of the differences, and we can have fun arguing those out because we’re never going to think the same way. And that’s a good thing. Because if we all thought the same then we would be in that communist hell, and even there they don’t think the same, they’re forced to think the same.

Barry Shore:

This is the point. This is an essential aspect of what John is talking about. People will always think differently. You cannot control their thoughts. You can try and program and that is what propaganda is programming, you can force it, as you just said, it is forced. And once the forces are taken away then the natural process of the human being comes out. Now, by the way, the perfect example of this was the Soviet Union. For 70 plus years, the Soviet Union had its thumb and its rifle at the temple at the head of its hundreds of millions of citizens. And yet, once the pressure was eased with refuseniks of all the different religions, Jew, Catholics, Greek Orthodox and such, and the church was unable to come back in again, and people realized, wait a minute, I don’t have to bow down to the communist thought process, then the shackles are thrown off. Now, again, it’s not a free country like America. But compared to what it was, Russia is a much different place. And the satellite countries that were under the heel militarily were able to break away. Now, at this particular point in history, we’re at a tipping point. There’s a balance happening here. And it’s not that good right now with Russia asserting itself again, Communist China asserting itself in Hong Kong, and potentially in Taiwan. And that doesn’t bode well for what we call the free world. And yet you see right here, as you said, in Hollywood, in your backyard where you live, that there are people raised not in the ghetto but in a different ghetto. They are in the ghetto of affluence. The ghetto of affluence is, obviously a much nicer ghetto, almost as deleterious and as despondent as a ghetto of poverty. It’s an interesting dilemma for people who are raised with so much that they can’t even appreciate it. And people who were raised in poverty who want more on a good level, and not finding the right path and using it, as you said, Black Panther, Black Muslim, that said black lives matter, all of those things. So, affluence can become almost as devastating as poverty. Isn’t that interesting, John?

John Duffy:

Well, I agree with you, Barry. And I think in some ways it’s worse. Sometimes I look back, and people would always ask me. I say, growing up poor or growing up rich, which is the gift, and which is the curse. And I would say, I’m glad that I grew up poor and not grew up rich because I think I got a lot of gifts out of poverty, what I grew through, and the strengths that I grew to have. Where growing up with privilege and wealth sometimes is a curse, not all the time. I’m not against wealth, I think it’s good. But it can be a curse if what you have is entitlement and privilege, and not an appreciation of that even though you got the greatest amount of financial gifts in the world, and you’re still not satisfied. And then there are people living in poverty who are fine with it because they’re happy. Because they have family, they have friends, they have a purpose and mission, and they love what they do. And they don’t have a lot of money but they’re cool, they’re cool with that. And you have all of this and you’re miserable, and you’re always angry, and you’re always complaining, and you got all this privilege. And it’s almost like a curse in a way. I call it the curse of privilege. And our society in Hollywood is infected by that virus of that curse of privilege. That’s a very bad virus. And unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find the cure to cure them of it because I think gratitude is the cure but you have to accept gratitude, right Barry. Gratitude and wake up every day and be grateful for what you have even if you got almost nothing. I was grateful when I had almost nothing. So gratitude makes your day better. And if you don’t have it you’re missing the most important ingredient in life. So, how do we infect them with gratitude is maybe one of the things that we try to do in life is give that a virus, spread that positive virus of gratitude to people.

Barry Shore:

That is the infection we want people to have, operation gratitude. Let’s invest a few minutes in operation gratitude and what it is that you’re involved with and how it makes a difference, not just for you but for the process. What is operation gratitude?

John Duffy:

Well, it was started by a woman right after 911. She was in an airport and there was a soldier who she went over to, I guess he was going off to serve. And basically, she talked to him. And she said you’re going to stay in touch with your family. And he said I have no family. And she was like, really. So it broke her heart. So she got his information, and she wrote him a letter and sent him a care package. And then she expanded that and felt like she needed to do that more. So out of her garage, she started this thing called Operation Gratitude. And it grew to today they’ve probably sent over 300 million care packages to troops and their family worldwide. And now they’ve expanded it to first responders, police offices, hospital workers. And really it’s a way of not just being grateful for what you have but taking action on gratitude, and doing something to help others with your gratitude to say, what can I do to, as you say, be mad, to make a difference? And that’s what they’ve done. And they’ve done it in a way to touch some poor soldier in the past was in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, wherever they were, and they get this box. And even more important than the things that they have in the box is they get a handwritten letter, usually from kids, saying I appreciate you, I thank you for what you’re doing, I wish you the best, those letters from the kids touch their hearts because they know somebody cares. And it gives them something in their worst moments, a human connection, some love, some compassion, and some appreciation. And so, that’s what they’ve done, it’s been a mission. Again, the door opened up, I went through one day, and I met some of the best people in my life. There are two former leaders of it, two Marines, who were CEO and COO, who now moved on to new servant warrior stuff. And we’re friends for life. We’re brothers for life because I made that connection. And I’ll help them do whatever they need to do in the future because that’s what it is, that opened up that door for me to be a servant further in life. And I just feel that when that happens, go through that door, and find a way. Because when you’re feeling down if you go help somebody else it changes you. It changes them but it mainly changes you. So why not go out there when you’re depressed, when you’re feeling bad, go help somebody else, go do something.

Barry Shore:

If there is anything that represents the true American way I think it is exactly what you just said. An individual reaching out to another individual doing something. See, thoughts are wonderful. Action is the key in life, action is the key to life. And we have now a pandemic. But it’s really not a pandemic of being ill. If you look at the first three letters of pandemic and the last two letters they spell the word panic. That’s really what this is. And there aren’t any kinds of drugs, I don’t care if it’s this one or booster and that, the real booster in life and the best antidote to any kind of pandemic and virus is gratitude, action, reaching out one to another to another that is the American way. And that is what’s under attack by the way. That is exactly what’s under attack from fringe groups. I don’t care what they call themselves. If they call it Antifa, Black Panther, black lives matter, it doesn’t matter. They’re attacking the American way, which is we are here together, and we work together, united souls, that’s the US in the USA. We are united souls, and you can hold a different opinion, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we work together for the greater good. That is essential and not coerced but from the heart, because we do believe and we know that there’s a creator. It’s really something wonderful John, it’s hard even to say the words I’m going to say right now but can you imagine our time has almost come to a close. 

John Duffy:

I was just noticing that myself. I was like, where does the time go, Barry. 

Barry Shore:

And we got much more to do but I’m going to ask you three quick questions, and then we’ll wrap this segment up. Question number one, John Duffy. Are you ready?

John Duffy:

Go for it. 

Barry Shore:

Will you come back again?

John Duffy:

I have to think about that. 100% of course because we got to have some FU moments.

Barry Shore:

FU capital N capital N. Mr. Duffy, you have 80 seconds only to answer this question. What is your most fervent desire?

John Duffy:

To make a difference that my life can inspire others to be the best they can be in service to others as well.

Barry Shore:

That’s Mr. Duffy. I love it. This is really Duffy’s tavern. And the third question is, may I give you a hug in front of now 363,000 people around the world?

John Duffy:

That’s an easy one. Barry is the greatest hugger on this planet. The first time I met him, he got out of his car in front of my apartment, and he hugged me. And it was like my whole body vibrated. So yes sir, please.

Barry Shore:

Okay. So let me tell everybody what HUG stands for heartfelt, unlimited giving. So here we go 1-2-3 roar.

John Duffy:

I felt it.

Barry Shore:

It was reverberating around the world, John. And again, you’ve been listening to The Joy of Living with your humble host Barry Shore. And this show is not about John Duffy, the great guy that he is, it is not even about Barry Shore, the fine fellow that he is. This show is all about you, Y-O-U. You becoming the best you as he just said when you’re the best you, you make the world a better place and build more bridges of harmony, create more joy, happiness, peace, and love in the world. And that’s because we use the three fundamentals of life. The three fundamentals are number one, life, your life has purpose. And the result of that is number two, a good number two, that when you lead a purpose-driven life you can go mad, mad is a great acronym that means make a difference. And number three is to unlock the power and the secrets of everyday words and terms and then you’ll be happier, healthier, and wealthier. Simple example www what a wonderful world or as John says, we will win. And smile, see miracles in life every day, as my eight-year-old niece says, seeing miracles in everyday life. Create the kind of world you want to live in causing, rethinking, like John did, enabling all to excel. Choice not chance determines your destiny. Use four-letter words but the four-letter words we use of course because we live in the world of positive, purposeful, powerful, and pleasant are love, life, hope, gold, go, grow, glow, free, play, pray, swim. And the four-letter FU word is funn. FU capital N capital N. So, after the show, when you see your family and friends you point your finger and say FU, everybody. Remember to add capital N capital N. They say where did you get? Say, I listened to The Joy of Living with Barry Shore. He wants to teach the world to FU and urge everybody to use the two most powerful words in the English language three times a day from now and for the rest of your life. And you affect for you better, you will be better, your family, your friends, and all living beings. And these two words are thank you, thank you, thank you. Thanks stand for to harmonize and network kindness. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about therefore, be kind always. Kind, as we said about John. Keep inspiring noble deeds. So our blessing from John and Barry is to go forth, live exuberantly, and spread the seeds of joy, happiness, peace, and love.

Outro  

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Joy of Living Podcast. Now, that’s another step towards your healthier, happier, and wealthier life. Never hesitate to do good in the world no matter what the situation. Join us for another upbeat discussion next time at barryshore.com. And be sure to leave a rating and subscribe to the show to get more conversations like this. And remember to share it with your family and friends, too. See you on the next episode.

About John Duffy


John Duffy is a Film Producer, Director, Professor and Motivational Speaker who shares a powerful message of overcoming all odds to succeed in life. John’s journey took him from “The South South Bronx to Hollywood” and from “The Ghetto to Greatness”, dropping out of High School at age 15 to today when he is a Hollywood Producer, Film Professor and Motivation Speaker. He has produced over 40 feature films. He is also very active in military veteran support and mentoring activities in the film industry. He directed two short films “The Flag” that screened at the GI Film Festival in Wash DC and at the Smithsonian Museum in DC.