Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Aren't we all Special?

June 12, 2012 marks the date that my son, Adam Johnson graduated from high school.  The family attended the ceremony and of course we did the family thing and photographed our boy getting his diploma as well as the group shots.  In addition there were a number of speeches made during the event that were basically what you would expect to hear at such a ceremony.

The speakers basically said the same thing just in different manners.  They suggested that everyone one graduating needs to go out and find their calling because they are "special" and or with a special calling no matter what that might be.  So I understand David McCullough Jr.'s reason for making the speech that he made at the same type of event, he was fed up.  If you haven't read his speech here is a link to the Boston heralds article with the speech.

I would like to quote 2 sections of the speech:

"Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you... you’re nothing special."


"You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless."


Would I agree with these comments.  Well they do seem a bit harsh but then again I have said the same basic thing myself.  Dare I say entitlement generation.  Yet if you read this speech to the end you will find that although he does continue to remind everyone that they are not special, he does end with hope.  He ends with the idea that we should charge at life like there is no tomorrow.  


After all, to quote from a speech I heard last night:


"I have never seen a U-Haul truck following the hearse.  You can't take it with you."


But can we say entitlement generation with this new batch of graduates?  I mean after all their families have lived through a fairly brutal recession and the country still has not recovered.  I recently read an article that compiled a number of charts which shows some interesting trends in America.  In this article the author suggests that the the capital (owners / corporations) wealth has out run the workers.  That in fact there is no way for someone to work their way up in America.........


I beg to differ, I do agree that things are tough and unemployment is high.  Yes the banks have stopped loaning money and corporations are making great profits.  But America is not broke.  We do not need to be fixed.  We need to tell our kids... Get to work.... Do anything and save your money.... Invest in those corporations that are making the profits.  Become a shareholder.  Build your wealth day by day, dollar by dollar.  Don't look for handouts!


No one will give you anything, no one is going to just say "here you go".  You have to work and work hard.  To think that you do not have the same opportunities that all other people have in America is ignorant.  Don't look for somebody to 'give' you a job.  We are not entitled to work.  Work is a privilege.  Look at how you can improve the company and show the company how you would help them grow more profitable.  No one has ever lost a job because they had the talent to create a profit for the company.  However, I know of a lot of people that have gotten jobs because they were able to create a profit.


So, if I was making that speech I would say:


Go out in the world, find what makes you valuable.  Take that value and show employers how you can make them money.  Make your mark in the world, your special mark.