Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On an Unwelcoming Universe

David Brooks ("It's Not About You") speaks of college graduates entering a universe that they are not ready for, and which is not ready for them. He finds these young people to be ill formed, overprotected and unprepared. He paints a less than flattering image of them as children, and by extension, of us as parents.

The truth is that nothing looks right in the world these days. When times are difficult, as they are now, dreams and passions seem silly and inconsequential. Mr. Brooks would suggest that these graduates wake up and face the reality of their limits and the of boundaries that the world will impose upon them. I would suggest that Mr. Brooks should not be so cynical and depressing.

These graduates will learn, as all the generations before them did, that everything and everyone does not revolve around them. They will discover, on their own, that dreams and passions are fluid, that they change and re-form, are damaged and often disappear. They will come to know that the world can be unforgiving and challenging in ways they now scarcely imagine. But, Mr. Brooks, just because times are bad, don't tell them to stop dreaming, to stop being passionate. Don't take away the fire in their bellies and the light in their eyes. Don't advise them not to be special, not to be unique. Give them at least the chance to believe they can make a difference. Give them a chance to learn who they are and who they will become.

Yes, the world is hard, and it is particularly hard for the college graduates of today. Don't make it any harder.

1 comment:

gail Nussbaum said...

Another great one. Send it in to the Times!