Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We are Not Special

Far away high five to you, Mister.
Maybe you've seen this YouTube video already. Maybe not. But it spoke to me, so I'm sharing it. Because this high school English teacher just told a large crowd of privileged young people and their parents (BURN!) that they are not f*cking special. And then he threw down a few more truth bombs and it was amazing and inspiring and I really, really loved it.

Maybe you've seen this YouTube video already. Maybe not. But it spoke to me, so I'm sharing it. Because this high school English teacher just told a large crowd of privileged young people and their parents (BURN!) that they are not f*cking special. And then he threw down a few more truth bombs and it was amazing and inspiring and I really, really loved it.

The truth is that I am raising privileged, first world kids. And I struggle every day that to make sure that they grow up recognizing that the world is full of people who are exactly like them, no matter what those people look like, what they have or don't have, where they live, or what God they worship. They are us.

And also that they should not be dickheads. Because there seem to be a lot of them already.

So enjoy!




(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

17 comments:

  1. I saw this and loved it. Because really, what is the point of a trophy if everyone gets one?

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  2. Working hard to raise kids who see a broader spectrum and think outside the box and hoping they aren't picked on too much because of the choices I/we make!

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  3. I watched this the other day and thought, "Finally, a graduation speaker who's not blowing smoke up the arses of the graduates." I'm sure many of those students are intelligent, but the real world is a very different place than high school, and it's better to be informed about reality than to jauntily stride out of high school thinking you're about to become CEO of a company because people will surely realize how amazing you are. You're more likely to start in an entry-level position that will make you pay your dues before you can be a more qualified and better appreciated (one hopes) employee.

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  4. this is my high school. class of 1993.

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  5. I want to give this guy a hug! As an educator, I can say he hit the nail on the head. If everyone gets a trophy, what's the point of striving to be truly great?

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  6. I heard a guy on the radio in Atlanta who called in to tell them that if it was HIS kid he'd be raising Cain. **sigh** Some people don't get it.

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  7. This is so awesome I can't really put it into words. It needs to be broadcast at EVERY highschool graduation. If it was, I don't think we'd have the problems with this generation we've been having. And it's to their own detriment they don't know this....poor kids have to go through a very slow and harsh reality check and end up unhappy in life because they aren't taught this. Very sad. I hope this gets distributed further!

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  8. This was a wonderful speech & quite inspiring. At first I was confused by the people criticizing him for it but then I realized those are the parents who have raised the little monsters who think that they ARE special.

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  9. I loved it reading it and I love hearing it in his voice ...

    "the pursuit of happiness" that's what I hope to teach me son through hard work...

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  10. I loved this. I mean the part where you said "and don't be dickheads" because that is also my goal in childrearing. OH, and the speech was great too!

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  11. He also works at one of the richest/wealthiest town of MA - so all of the less affluent towns/cities around here were cheering as well. ;)

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  12. second time i've seen this and i loved it. again.

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  13. I think it's a real shame that some people are so busy getting irate about certain key words they heard that they miss the true meaning behind them. I thought this speech was inspiring. I wish he'd spoken at my graduation, and that I'd been mature enough at age 18 to see the truth in his words and take them to heart. I'm glad I heard the speech now, though - it's never too late to start living a life that could be considered an achievement.

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  14. These are things I wish I'd realized at that age. I may have put more thought into my choice of college major, and certain choices in my early twenties.
    I don't recall exactly when it happened, but I did figure out that I'm not special, and life has been happier since.

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  15. The Millennials (Generation Y) already know and agree that they aren't special. The generation is generally characterized as being civic minded, involved with both digital and physical communities, and cognizant of the fact that they are not special, particularly when they are not productive members of the community. The people who tend to scream at them that they aren't special tend to be Boomers and Gen Xers, who are characterized by single minded devotion to self-advancement and unnecessary rebellion against authority. It's a bit ironic.

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  16. The one thing I disagree with, he says: "We are all special, and so none of us are." I don't come to that second conclusion. As I tell my kids, "you are an amazing human being, worthy of respect and dignity, and utterly special - just like everyone else is; we're like human snowflakes." I prefer thinking that we're all special, rather than that no one is, but that's just me.

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