All across America at this time of year, there are high school and college students graduating from our education system and heading into the real world. Here's a little advice for them from outside the liberal cocoon their teachers have weaved over the last few years.
1) You were not born special: Everyone is not a winner. Everyone is not a good person. Everyone doesn't deserve to have high self-esteem. Everyone doesn't deserve success.
So, what about you? Are you special? Are you a winner? Do you deserve success? That remains to be seen because everything you've done in school so far means precisely jack squat in the real world.
Yes, if you were lucky enough to go to an Ivy League school, there may be a few people who'll give you an opportunity based on your pedigree, but you still have to perform. Everybody does -- and as a new graduate, you'll be up against more experienced competitors who made it through school just like you did.
You want to be special? Then you must outwork them, outsmart them, and prove it. Until you do, you haven't proven there's anything special about you.
2) Your future probably isn't going to be as bright as the one your parents had: If you're like most people your age, you've heard people talking about the national debt, but you probably haven't paid much attention. After all, it doesn't seem to impact you personally and you're probably assuming someone will just take care of it.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but actually nobody is taking care of it and what that means as a practical matter, is that you will probably never retire unless you save enough money to do it on your own dime. I could give you quotes and statistics out the wazoo, but if you've been paying attention, you probably already suspect this is true. Point being, if you don't want to be 85 years old, working as a Wal-Mart greeter to make ends meet, start putting money back and start from day one.
3) If you're not skeptical of government, you'll be sorry: As someone who works in politics for a living, let me assure you that all jokes you've heard about politicians being liars are true. They lie to get elected, they lie to escape blame, they lie to their enemies, and they lie to their friends. The bigger the promise, the more likely it is that it's a lie. Even on the rare occasions when politicians aren't lying, never forget that we live in a country where people from the opposing party would probably fight a cure for cancer if someone from the other side came up with it. If somehow, some way, a good idea isn't destroyed during that process, it'll usually be implemented by lazy, butt-covering bureaucrats who'll screw it up because they're indifferent to whether it succeeds or fails.
This may seem like a crazy way to run a country at first glance, but when you live under a system designed by a group of Founding Fathers who viewed government as a necessary evil that needs to be as limited in power and scope as possible, it makes perfect sense. That's why you shouldn't trust the government, you definitely don't want to rely on the government, and God help you if you ever come to depend on the government.
4) You probably won't have the cool stuff your parents have until you're their age: Some people live the dream of getting a high paying job right out of college and accumulating all the neat stuff their parents have before they're thirty. On the other hand, most people struggle to make ends meet in their twenties, start to pull it together in their thirties and hit their prime earning years in their forties and fifties.
If you're in your early twenties and struggling to pay the bills, it's not that America is "mean," "racist," or "cruel," it's just what life is like for most people.
5) You are not a victim: Someone has probably told you that you're a victim. It could be because you're black, white, Hispanic, Muslim, Christian, female, gay, straight, rich, or poor. It doesn't really matter because it's all bull****.
"Oh, but my story is different because this happened to me,” or “That person said this to me..." ...just stop. That's loser talk. Always has been, always will be.
Is that too harsh? Well, it's what most people are thinking, but they don't have the guts to tell you the truth. You might not realize it, but that's actually good news because victims need someone else to save them. If you're not a victim, it means you can take care of yourself instead of waiting for some jerk on a power trip who will try to shovel a pile of manure on your plate while demanding a “thank you” for stooping to help a victim like you.