Congratulations, home-schooled graduates! You’ve been blessed with an
education that will make it possible for you to face an uncertain world
with a sense of optimism, for you’ve acquired skills that the average
public schooler never gets. Thus, you can look to the future with the
confidence that you can read, write, and figure out what it means to
have a government with a three-trillion-dollar deficit.
Every generation has had to face an uncertain future, no matter what the
prevailing conditions might be. When I graduated from high school in
1944, we were at war. I enlisted in the army, because my teachers
convinced me that it was better to get into the Army Specialized
Training Program than wait to be drafted. The result was that I spent
six months at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA, where I
enjoyed cadet life but didn’t do well enough in engineering math. So I
underwent basic training at Fort Dix and was then sent to Fort Sill, OK,
to be trained for the artillery.
There was never any doubt in our minds that we would win the war and
return to normal peaceful life.
After spending eighteen months in Italy, I was honorably discharged and
signed up at City College of New York under the G.I. Bill. At Stuyvesant
High School I had thought of becoming an architect. But my architecture
teacher was so impressed by my letters from Italy, that he suggested I
become a journalist—a writer.
So in college, I majored in English and minored in French.
I relate all of this to demonstrate how when we are young and about to
enter the world of work, the influence of others in casual conversation
can actually determine what we will be doing for the rest of our lives.
I sometimes wonder what life would have been like had I become an
architect instead of a writer. It would have been very different. I
would have had to work with a lot of people: clients, contractors,
designers, builders, etc. As a writer, one generally has to labor alone,
producing something worth reading and publishing. The act of creation is
a lonely one, though one must also deal with agents, publishers,
editors, and the reading public. But since I love to write, I know I
made the right choice.
Do What You Love
Choose what you will enjoy doing for the rest of your life. You don’t
have to stick to just doing one thing, but concentrating on one line of
endeavor will make success more achievable than wanting to do too many
things. The world is your oyster, no matter what you choose to do. But
let me offer some sage advice.
Find Your Purpose
First, establish your direct relationship with God. You are not an
animal, as the evolutionists claim. You are a human being made in His
image. And you were put here for a purpose. You discover that purpose in
yourself—in gifts you may have been given, in the parents that raised
you, in your attitude toward life and its possibilities. You may be
destined for center stage because of a great talent, or you may find
yourself in a supporting role to other human beings. You may find your
purpose in being an inventor, or a healer, a teacher, a musician, an
entrepreneur, a chef, an artist, an architect, a writer, a landscaper, a
carpenter, a software engineer, or politician, stock broker, realtor,
farmer, actor, lawyer, photographer, dancer, producer, or pilot.
Computer technology has opened all sorts of horizons for the talented
and imaginative. Great fortunes have been made by the founders of eBay,
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube, and other Internet enterprises. Find
out about the people who created all of these new businesses. Learn from
them. Their experiences will help you avoid needless mistakes.
A Virtuous Spouse
Second, find a virtuous mate. There is no more noble pursuit in life
than creating a family of your own, and it all starts by finding a mate
who shares your values. There is no greater source of happiness in life
than the attachments and joys of family life. Of course, family life has
its own trials and tribulations, but the love gained from a spouse and
children are sources of happiness beyond measure.
An Active Citizen
Third, become an active member of your community and nation. The
freedoms we inherited from our parents are not free. They must be
constantly guarded and protected against those cultural and social
forces that may lead us into an unconstitutional form of government.
Remember what happened in Germany, where a group of thugs called
National Socialists imposed a demonic racist dictatorship and led the
German people into a war that destroyed them. Governments must be
watched by those citizens who understand the power of destruction that
an unconstitutional government can inflict on its people.
And so, as you embark on your life’s journey, never lose sight of the
great responsibilities you have to protect your loved ones. Know your
politicians and stand up for what is right, so that your own children
can inherit the priceless liberties bequeathed us by our Founding
Education expert Sam Blumenfeld’s Alpha-Phonics reading program is
available on www.samblumenfeld.net. His latest book, The
Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection, is about the Shakespeare authorship