Baby Boomer HeadQuarters (BBHQ)
What Every Graduate Should Know — Dennis Prager
Knowledge is considerably less important than wisdom.
The greatest struggle in your life is not with society; it is with yourself.
Use your common sense.
Race is Unimportant.
Beware of Good Intentions.
Judeo Christian Values are the Real Counterculture Today.
Here then are five ideas for your life.
1. The greatest struggle in your life should not be — and, in fact, is not — with society. It is with yourself. This idea — taught by every great religion — is not taught today. Instead we are taught that we have to battle society — its sexism, racism, prejudices and it’s other flaws. The overwhelming temptation is therefore to see whatever problems you have as coming from society, not from within yourself. But in a free and decent society such as ours, it is our own flawed human nature — not a flawed society — that is our biggest problem.
2. Use your common sense. For example, when you hear the words “studies show” — outside of the natural sciences — and you find that these studies show the opposite of what common sense suggests, be very skeptical. I don’t recall ever coming across a valid study that contravened common sense. For example, I was told when I was in college that “studies show” that boys and girls are not inherently different; that they differ only because parents raise them in a sexist manner. This was nonsense then, and it is even more nonsensical now since we have brain scans showing how different the male and females brains are.
3. Race is unimportant. You’ve been taught that it is very important, but it isn’t. The color of people’s skin is as trivial as the color of their hair. Be guided by the idea of Viktor Frankl, the Jewish psychiatrist who suffered the horrors of a Nazi death camp and whose family was gassed. After the Holocaust, he was asked, “Do you hate the German race?” “No” he replied “I don’t, there are only two races, the decent and the indecent.” Remember that truism, and you can never be a racist.
4. Beware of good intentions. The 20th century was the bloodiest and cruelest century on record. Why? Not because so many more people were bad, but because so many people believed in bad ideas. Most Nazis and Communists in their time and Islamic terrorists in our time were not/are not necessarily sadists; they were normal people who believed in bad ideas. So here is a quick way to measure if an idea is good. Do not — I repeat, do NOT — ask if it feels good or if it has good intentions. Ask will it DO good? Will it make people kinder and more ethical? Will it encourage responsible behavior? Has it been tried before and if so, what were the results? What matters is how you act. If you do something bad, it is not important that you “meant well.” And if you do something good, it doesn’t matter if you did it for “selfish” reasons. So spend much less time monitoring your motives and far more time monitoring your actions.
5. Judeo-Christian values are the real counterculture today. Many people think that dressing weird or having their body tattooed or pierced is a statement of individuality or strength or rebellion against the dominant culture. Not true. The ultimate statement of counterculture and individual strength in America today is to take the God of Judaism and Christianity seriously. If you want to be an individual and to be strong, affirm a higher value system that enables you to say no to the prevailing culture. When you know to whom you are accountable and when you march to the beat of that Higher Drummer, you will lead a more peaceful, happy and good life. Good luck to all of you.
I’m Dennis Prager.
Class of 2015 — Bill Whittle
Commentator Bill Whittle speaks our forcefully about those college administrators and their subjects who vilify and will not tolerate those with whom they disagree.
Sorry... I cannot summarize this one. It is 14 minutes long. But it is both fascinating and frightfully thought-provoking. Here’s a sample: “When the class of 2015 demands to be protected from ideas they do not want to hear, they are simply book-burners who are afraid of matches.”
Another one? OK: “Your insistence on being weak and isolated and protected and safe is a guarantee that what we are going to being needing large numbers of in the near future are not graphic designers or game coders or app developers or medieval poetry majors; were gonna’ need warriors.”
This is a printer-friendly version of our This Week with the Chicowitz essay for the week of May 22, 2017. The Internet address for this essay is http://www.bbhq.com/thisweek.htm
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