American Elephants

Learning to be Human by The Elephant's Child


I think that perhaps what we need is a school curriculum than emphasizes ordinary human nature. Somehow they got way off, with all this stuff about not just the first man and the first woman who plucked the apple from the tree of knowledge, and got booted out into the real world, but suddenly it’s all sorts of variations on man and woman into multiple sexes and sexual preferences and sexual choices and transformations. Human nature is fixed and permanent, and unchangeable.

Since that didn’t seem to be enough, Diversity became the new thing.  We needed to celebrate diversity, which mostly seemed to be about racial differences and/or skin colors, and ethnic origins. Then we got into “Cultural Appropriation” which is even sillier than the previously mentioned oddities. This all seems to have emanated from our colleges and universities, rather than the ordinary everyday world, possibly because of all the courses that are “studies”. Black studies, Women’s studies, There’s probably Hispanic studies somewhere. Doesn’t seem to be any White Male studies, but do not underestimate the efforts of professors who have chosen to specialize in the “studies” to be studied. The whole diversity thing is bunk, and not what is important about a human being at all.

It has been in the academic world where we have had the “snowflakes” who need protection from hearing anything that might frighten, or upset, or disagree with their previously unformed ideas. “Safe Spaces” have been developed where they can go to feel cared for with teddy bears or other comforts. Invited speakers who might say something that innocent minds are unprepared for, have been banned, rioted against, attacked, and badly treated quite specifically because they have different opinions, which is why they were invited in the first place — because that is what education is.

Of course, proper action by the administration and trustees would have sent the offenders home, to return after they had cooled off — the next semester. Wishy-washy college administrators caved, and many colleges are suffering from big drops in prospective students and scary budget shortfalls because of parents that were unprepared to send their kids off to colleges who could not deal effectively with dissent. There are always consequences.

What the kids need to learn is that life is hard, and often tragic. Your close friends and family will die. You will probably be fired from a job, disappointed in love, and may come to hate your chosen profession. Work is hard, but you have to do it anyway. People at work will try to get your job. There will never be enough money. Wars will happen. Crime happens, and good policing tries to prevent it. There is nothing special about the coastal elites, and the folks in “flyover country” are just as smart. Things that can improve your chances are continuing self education — read widely, learn new skills, improve old skills, work at having an open mind. Study history so you don’t repeat the same old mistakes. Have the courage to try new things.  A good sense of humor may be your best asset.

A healthy understanding of human nature should have prevented most of the silly excesses of the past few years.

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