Doomed to Repeat?
November 16, 2023
I became a student of history way back... well, never mind how far back. One of the things I learned was that humans seem to be very, very slow learners when it comes to assimilating the lessons of history (also known as "life"). Century after century the same pitiful mistakes are made by governments and societies around the world. This tendency has been summed up by historical philosophers throughout the centuries.
Kurt Vonnegut phrased it like this: "We're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive. It's pretty dense kids who haven't figured that out by the time they're ten... Most kids can't afford to go to Harvard and be misinformed." Vonnegut was a satirical writer who died in 2007. I wonder what he would say about today's youth.
One of the lessons I've learned over the years is that a college degree is not necessarily a golden key to success, much less to the acquiring of a higher degree of intelligence. In many of today's highly esteemed universities it has become apparent that neither the professors nor the students have learned anything of worth when it comes to history and real life. Or maybe the profs are deliberately programming our youth for a socialistic government and society. Just maybe...
Both the profs and the students need to climb down out of their ivory towers and live in the real world. Then, maybe you and I might pay more attention to their hysterical pronouncements. Or, maybe not. One of my teachers of many years ago said, "PHD is the short version of 'Piled Higher and Deeper". I think you are smart enough to figure that one out!
Even though I graduated high school in the top 10% of my class, I messed up in college and dropped out. Then, I made one of the best choices of my life... I enlisted in the U.S. Navy for 6 years. Granted that is not for everyone, but I quickly learned that it did not pay to make the same mistake more that twice! The result: I became able to face the tough things in life and survive and grow to become even better. Granted, the military is not for everyone, but young people need to learn, and learn early in life that no one owes them anything. Life can be tough and miserable. Been there, done that. P.S. Later in life I did get a college degree, so I can make reasonable distinctions between real life experience and the college programming so prominent in most of our schools of so called "higher education."
The School of Hard Knocks can be one of the best schools there is, IF the student learns from his/her mistakes. Sheltering our youth from that reality is one of the biggest mistakes our society is making. We are raising a generation of milksops who are afraid of their own shadows, and yet able to become so aggressively angry when someone disagrees with them!
Unless this changes in the very near future, like next year, America will have a very bleak future indeed. Parents don't shelter your kids. You are not doing them any favors. Encourage them to attend the School of Hard Knocks and to learn from their mistakes.
One of my favorite philosophers is George Santayana. He was a professor of philosophy at Harvard University, which he later abandoned! He wrote, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Let's pray enough of our citizenry, of all ages, are able to learn from history. I want to be hopeful that this is so, regardless of what Vonnegut wrote.