Columnist and author Ron Hart was asked by a local principal to give a high school graduation speech. Which probably wasn't such a good idea, especially for kids who are used to being told that the sky is the limit and if you can dream it, you can do it.
His counsel for the top 5 percent is simply that "they do not need me telling them they can do anything. They get it." For the rest, his advice is more sound: "Students should prepare for a job. Maybe, instead of taking a fifth field trip to the Trail of Tears site, take one to learn about real jobs in an area they might want."
Then there's this:
Unrealistic expectations may be the reason suicide rates are up among middle-age Americans, now outnumbering deaths from automobile accidents. Suicides among whites rose a staggering 40 percent from 1999 to 2010. This is the generation of ninth-place "participation" ribbon recipients who post a picture of the sandwich they had for lunch on Facebook.
Students are victims of a giant fraud: the government-run education system that has molded them for 12 gullible years. Public schools are government-run; teachers are government-hired; and government determines standards, pay, curricula and graduation requirements. Government seeks to produce compliant citizens it can someday rule without much pushback. Smart, independent thinkers are not wanted….
Few schools teach about the value of hard work, ingenuity, gumption and entrepreneurship.
Hart's column put in mind of Mike Rowe's Reason TV interview, in which the former Dirty Jobs' host, now on CNN's Somebody's Gotta Do It, talked about what he sees is the systematic stigmatization of trade and craft jobs that are plentiful and well-compensated. I agree with Rowe that virtually universal access to higher education is a good thing—and it's also true that many kids are pushed into attending college whether they are temperamentally suited or prepared for it. The result of that is high student debt and unfulfilled dreams.
Take a look: