reb•e•lu•tion (reb’el lu shen) n. a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.

8/12/2005

TWIF (Part 6): What I'm NOT Saying, And What I Am

There are several mistaken impressions you could receive from reading my previous posts. Specifically “TWIF (Part 2): Ready Or Not, Here China Comes!” and “TWIF (Part 4): American IS History: Leaving Behind Our Heritage.” This post is meant to clear up any misconceptions while also sharing the real-life applications I had in mind:

Misconception #1: I THINK AMERICAN STUDENTS ARE STUPID.
Perhaps you think my half-Japanese ancestry has given me an Asian bias. Allow me to reassure you that I don’t believe any nation has better “stock” than another. But different nations definitely do a better job cultivating their young people’s potential.

In all honesty, if I thought American students were stupid I wouldn’t be writing this series. It is precisely because I know they’re not stupid that their mediocrity concerns me. Something must be the matter because if they were being educated adequately and motivated sufficiently they’d be dominating!

The real problems are completely fixable. They don’t require brain transplants or herbal, intellect boosting remedies. Rather, they require us young people to 1) wake up, and 2) catch fire. Our first mistake has been to depend on the public school system to educate us. We’ve got to wake up, smell the intellectual and moral death, and get out. For some of you that might not be possible. Luckily, if you can’t leave the public schools there’s still something you can do.

First, realize that they aren’t going to do much for you unless you do much for yourself. For gosh sakes, your parents are paying the tax dollars that fund their salaries! Make your school work for you. Those teachers are there for you. That science lab is there for you. I can guarantee you that you aren’t taking full advantage of the school system. Force the government educate you. That’s what it’s supposed to be doing; and it won’t do it unless you make it.

Second, make yourself work. You need to assume that you’re not being taught everything you need to know. Teach yourself. Make use of the school library. It’s there for you, remember? My dad likes to say a person is what they do in their spare time. That also means you will become what you are in your spare time. Make it count.
Misconception #2: I WANT YOU TO BECOME SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS.
The shortage of tech workers in America is significant and will have serious consequences if it isn’t reversed. However, I didn’t share about it for the purpose of motivating you to consider engineering as a career option. Rather, I wanted to make the broader point that any young person who grows up believing America has an inherent “right” to preeminence is dead wrong. The battle for superiority must be fought every single generation.

We have a wonderful heritage. The freedom America offers gives us an inherent advantage over our peers in any less privileged nation (which includes China and India at this point). But we must continue to write our legacy. You can’t run a car on last week’s gas. We can’t run America on our forefather’s motivation. At some point the diligence, the vision, and the perseverance must carry over.

I want you to join me in throwing off the lie that America has a vice grip on greatness; and then apply yourself. By God’s grace and in His strength let us ensure that the greatness of our past will fuel the actions of today for the greatness of tomorrow.
This is what I’m calling you to. It all started with a Revolution. It won’t continue without a Rebelution.
In Christ, Brett Harris