February 10, 2016

Graduates, your elders are smarter than you

Danedri Thompson
Dear Graduate,
I have some good news and some bad news for you as you prepare to collect your high school diploma this weekend.
The good news: Other than the piece of paper that declares you a high school graduate, few people will remember of care what you did at GE High.
The bad news: Other than the piece of paper that declares you a high school graduate, few people will remember or care what you did at GE High.
You’ll hear lots of advice as you prepare to become productive members of society. You won’t listen to most of it, including that which I’m about to offer. But, I’m going to tell you the things I wish someone had told me when I collected my GE diploma anyway.
• Most importantly, following Christ will help you avoid a lot of mistakes. Reading your Bible won’t make you perfect, but it provides a pretty handy guidebook for all occasions.
• What you’ve learned in school isn’t all that important. If your teachers taught you what to think, they’ve failed. If they’ve taught you how to think, you should use that skill everyday with reckless abandon.
From this day forward, you get to learn what you want rather than what someone tells you need to know. Keep learning.
• Question everything. Half of the stuff you learned in textbooks last week may not be true tomorrow. When I was in elementary school, we spent a sliver of time learning that the earth was cooling and a new ice age might be on the horizon. You’ve all been told – repeatedly – that the earth is warming. I don’t know which is true – or if either matters. Read everything, but be very selective about what you believe to be true.
• Don’t waste the pretty. Do not, I repeat, do not waste time dating someone you know you will never marry. Having a plus-one is seductive, but oh the people you will meet if you’re single.
• By the way, the most important decision you will likely ever make is who you will marry. Pick the right person, but there’s no hurry.
• Exercise. That fly metabolism you’ve got right now, it won’t last. Get in the habit now of going to the gym or taking a daily jog. Just trust me on this one.
• Learn to balance your checkbook. Do not acquire massive amounts of debt.
• The dumbest purchase most people ever make is a fancy ride. Drive a beater that’s paid in full.
• There is a very simple equation for not being poor: Get married. Stay married. Don’t have kids until you are married. That is the simplest ticket to the middle class. If you figure out the equation to fabulous wealth, share it — the equation, not the cash — with the rest of us.
• Listen to your elders. It doesn’t seem like it now, but we really are smarter than you.


  1. ThePatriot says:

    “What you’ve learned in school isn’t all that important.”

    My public education was the foundation for all the things I learned in undergraduate and graduate school. This, in turn, was the foundation for my profession, which was the foundation of my ability to have a family and own a home.

    “Half of the stuff you learned in textbooks last week may not be true tomorrow.”

    Yes, especially in Science. The is how science works otherwise there would be no progress on anything at any level. Just look at the evolution of the personal computer, cell phones, and communications (social media) as just a few examples. All this progress made possible by Science. Look at the enormous strides we are making in understanding Universe setting the stage for manned deep space exploration by future generations. Look at the evolution in medicine. I am truly thankful for the physicists, electrical engineers, mathematicians, and medical professionals who took their schooling seriously. They help create this comfortable world in which we live.

    Finally, a good public education is very important to our ecomonmy. It is the egine the drives it. A strong economy requires eductated innovators and an educated workforce.

  2. ThePatriot says:

    It is the egine the drives it. –> It is the engine that drives it.

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    Who is willing to pay taxes to support and enable education in the U.S.???? The thieves far and wide across our prairie sure don’t want to pay taxes and slimy politicians like we have across Kansas and our Governor sure have taken care of those who don’t want to pay taxes but want educated workers. They have turned cronyism government into a science with the support and enablement of the political whores who are rampant in our society…………………

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