Tuesday, September 8, 2009

'If I can't change the world, I'll change the world within my reach..'

Whatever your political preference, what in this world can be remotely objectionable about encouraging kids to stay in school and work hard? What can be wrong about telling kids that, sure, it's not always easy, but the rewards of hanging in there and trying your best are worth it?

And what can possibly be so awful about saying this:

"Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future."

If you honestly, truly and genuinely don't think that message is worth passing on, then I despair for you.


  1. I liked the title of your post. Sometimes one feels so very helpless about the things going around that we give up ourselves to despair but your post gives a logical perspective of looking at things. Echoes of Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see."

  2. I was hoping Republicans and whoever else opposed the Obama address would be given equal time. Then they could have spoken directly to school kids on the many advantages of dropping out of school, urged them NOT to study and counter any other insidious points Obama had discussed.

    The polarization in this country is really scary.