Scranton: ‘Tis the Season!
It’s the time of year when high schools all across the country say congratulations to another crop of young people who will be unleashed upon institutions of higher education, the work force, or possibly their parent’s basement.
Twelve years of education culminates in a much anticipated graduation ceremony to honor their effort, determination, and stamina. As a teacher who has watched, or been a part of, over 30 of these grandiose productions; it is with much lived experience and heartfelt concern that I offer our Class of 2022 graduates the following advice:
Your success in life will not be dependent on the one factor that helped you succeed in high school. How you feel life should be will have much less of a determining factor on your success and enjoyment of life than what you actually achieve.
High school did little to prepare you for the fact that most of your efforts from now on will be based upon your comparative talent and ability to others and not just because you participated. Demand from the world a true and accurate reflection of your efforts — it will make you a better person!
Your 12 years of education included a few classes in science that will come in handy as you will grapple with those who tell you to follow the science and then explain that sex is assigned at birth by a doctor; completely disregarding that whole X and Y chromosome graph you were taught in biology class. You’ll be told that gender is fluid and you can be whatever you feel like. Science mixed with social constructivism rarely has room for hard facts. Demand from those telling you to follow the science to consistently do the same — physical reality is real!
You have been led to believe that your feelings and wishes somehow manipulate the time and space continuum and can shape reality. Unlike Dr. Strange, you will learn that success is built not on trying to define reality but discovering what it is, finding your place in it, and making the best of that which you can control. Demand from yourself that you avoid placing blame and being the victim unless it is truly warranted — life sometimes stinks, but it’s always better if you keep fighting.
Some of your teachers may have extolled the virtues of a soft and improved kind of “Mommy and Daddy” government that solves the inherent problems of our evil current system. But now that high school is over you should (and will) understand that any form of government that denies the inherent value and human dignity of the individual and demands that it be placated to the concerns of the state — is dangerous.
Socialism looks great dressed up as everyone getting a fair shake in an equitable and fair manner. Demand that your government be smaller and limited to carrying out its role to protect your inalienable rights and stop telling you that they have all the answers if only you give them more power — the next generation will thank you.
When someone tags you with the “systemic” label, look them in the eye, stand your ground, and ask them to explain how it is that a concept so deprived of common sense can be used to discredit your drive and determination to succeed in life. Should the accusations continue (and they will) just listen politely and go on your way.
The only thing systemic about calling you out for the very thing you have absolutely no control over such as skin color is that some people will never get used to the fact that our individual behavior is the true measuring stick of who we are. Demand that destructive groupthink be replaced by the maxims of people such as Martin Luther King Jr., who famously urged us all to judge one another on the content of our character, not the color of our skin — your culture will thank you.
And finally, remember that love for people, care about your community, investing in a marriage, and having children might seem old-fashioned but it’s very likely that you wouldn’t be here without such eternal values. Be good to yourself and always remember that you are able to do infinitely more than you can imagine.
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