10 Things I Wish I Had Never Believed

I’m writing this list for you because I wish somebody had sent me this list years ago.

  1. Money is the root of all evil *
    Money isn’t good or evil. It’s a tool like a hammer or a saw. You can create with it or destroy with it. People use it to build infrastructure, to build research facilities, to find cleaner sources of energy, and to create timeless art and literature. If you use your money to create value for yourself and others, your money will grow – and you will have all the money you’ll ever need. However, if you hoard money selfishly or spend it frivolously, you will never have enough. Don’t you think you could contribute more to society, the world, and other people if you had great wealth? So what’s wrong with intending to be wealthy? Do you believe you have the capacity to create value in other people’s lives? Those that think and act create wealth, so if you intend to become wealthy, don’t wait around for a government grant or the winning lotto numbers, get out there and start creating value for other people today.
    Why People Believe Money is the Root of All Evil
  2. Getting a good job is the best way to earn money
    Ask any entrepreneur if she’d like to quit and get a job. Then ask most people with a job if they’d like to quit and work for themselves. Most wealthy people will tell you a job is the worst way to make money.
    Why Getting a Good Job isn’t the Best Way to Earn Money
  3. Emotional people are weak, vulnerable, and easily manipulated
    It’s the exact opposite. Strong emotions are a source of strength and power. The stronger your emotions and the better your ability to focus your emotion, the more creative and powerful you are. Denying your emotions creates weakness and vulnerability.
    The Secret Great Leaders Know About Emotions
  4. Admitting a mistake is a sign of weakness
    If you aren’t making mistakes you aren’t learning anything. Fearing mistakes is the real weakness. Denying your mistakes, repeating them, and expecting different results is insane.
    Success is 99% Failure
  5. You can’t be successful without a college degree
    This one was drilled into my head for years and I believed it. The results of this belief were devastating. I didn’t earn a decent living until I was able to squash the belief. 85% 76% of Americans do not have a degree. I want to be very clear about this – I know I am on dangerous ground – so here goes – All of you with college educations are valuable and you have tremendous ability to create value in the world. This is not a criticism of your achievements. But I also must say – if you are one of the 85% 76% that do not have a degree, you are equally valuable and you are not inferior. You have equal potential to create value in the world, even if you never get a degree. People with and without degrees create amazing results everyday. If you hate flipping burgers or ringing orders at Wal-Mart don’t continue just because our culture tells you it’s your lot in life. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that tells you what you can’t do. Tell it to shut-up. Then start to visualize what you desire to be and you will slowly become what you visualize.
    10 Tips to Secure a Management Position without a College Degree
  6. Your doctor is the best source of medical or psychiatric information
    Medical information is expanding so rapidly doctors are increasingly using Google to diagnose patients. According to studies, 30% of patients are misdiagnosed and treated for a condition they do not have. Obviously, if you have a medical or psychiatric problem you should see a doctor, but question what they tell you. Don’t accept it on blind faith. Use your critical thinking. Ask difficult questions. Many people are afraid to question their doctor. Don’t be afraid! I believe questioning my doctor saved my life (I plan to do a post on that experience). Do research online about your condition and you may find that you know more about the condition than your doctor. If that happens, it may be time to find a new doctor. Remember there is nothing special or magical about doctors, they’re people just like you and me. Many of them are extremely busy, and they make mistakes – lots of mistakes. So be your own advocate. See your doctor, but do your own research in the library and online. And if you need to make a big medical decision, get a second, third, or fourth opinion. Your health is in your hands. You make the final decision.
    Always Question Your Doctor – Three Stories Why
  7. School is the best place for kids to learn
    It’s probably the worst place for kids to learn. I wrote this in my last blog post:Bob Proctor said that the problem with education is that it teaches us what to think, not how to think. Bob is wrong. It’s much worse than that. Our schools teach us to think destructive thoughts, which produce negative results in our lives and in the world. I know this sounds crazy and defies conventional wisdom, but it isn’t an attack on teachers or intellectuals. They are victims of the same monolithic government system as the students. Most teachers know intuitively how screwed up the system is and they know they are powerless to change it. So instead of explaining my position, I’ll let the New York State Teacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto make the argument in his essay The Seven Lesson School Teacher and his interview in Fast CompanyRead my follow up: How the Public School System Crushes Souls

  8. Personal Development or Self-Help is a left-wing hippy thing
    You may have a preconceived notion about Self-Help, but if you look closely I think you’ll find it is an inaccurate stereotype. When some people think of a ‘hippy’, they think of a bunch of scruffy unshaven kids in tie-dye shirts tripping on acid at a Grateful Dead show. When they think of ‘left-wing’, they think of socialism, communism, and atheism. All the Personal Development gurus I’ve seen are clean cut, positive thinking, deeply spiritual, entrepreneurs awash in wealth. Hardly a bunch of scruffy, atheistic, drug abusing, socialists. I highly recommend a Personal Development program regardless of your political or religious beliefs. My program has created amazing positive results.
  9. I should ignore my feelings and make decisions with hard reason and logic
    This is a lie I used to tell myself. You buy the house you buy because of how it makes you feel. You bought the car you drive because of the way it makes you feel. You eat the food you eat because of the way it makes you feel. You choose the relationships you have because of the way you feel. You choose a career because of how it makes you feel. There is no such thing as an emotionless rational decision. All good marketers and sales people know this. Accept the role your feelings play in decision-making. So if you are getting lousy results in your life, it’s probably because of the decisions you are making. You can only change the way you make decisions by changing the way you feel. Hard reason won’t change anything. Trying to plan your life with hard reason and logic results in inertia.
    Give me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make You a Better Decision Maker
  10. That I Should Put Political Opinions on This List
    Big mistake on my part. See #4. I used to have a political opinion as #10 and it tainted this list. This isn’t a political blog. My goal is to help everybody, regardless of political opinions. I apologize to anyone I alienated. I’ll view it as an opportunity to learn.

Read the 10 part series on the 10 things I wish I had never believed:

#1 Why People Believe Money is the Root of All Evil
#2 Why Getting a Good Job isn’t the Best Way to Earn Money
#3 The Secret Great Leaders Know About Emotions
#4 Success is 99% Failure
#5 10 Tips to Secure a Management Position without a College Degree
#6 Always Question Your Doctor – Three Stories Why
#7 How the Public School System Crushes Souls
#9 Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make you a Better Decision Maker
* I realize the original biblical quote is “The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil.” But many people, me included, misunderstood the quote, and that’s why I wrote it the way I did. The belief was rampant in my working class subculture. People looked down on you if you wanted to achieve wealth. Many people viewed you as a sellout or a crook. They believed in the virtue in being poor. They also believed that most wealthy people were unethical crooks that became wealthy on the backs of the working class. In some cases, this was true, but in most it wasn’t and the belief trapped the working class into a life of servitude. I plan to do more posts on working class culture.

144 thoughts on “10 Things I Wish I Had Never Believed”

  1. > People looked down on you if you wanted to achieve wealth.

    That is pointing at the _correct_ meaning of the correct quote. It is not that having money is the root of evil, it is _wanting_ money that is the root of evil.

    Likely what you were really encountering in the working class subculture was envy, as everyone who seemed to have more money was the subject of the stereotype. For those who had less money, the envy doesn’t apply. In the absence of the stereotype, there is the air of piety regardless of the person’s actual desire for money (or lack thereof).

  2. think you should look into that doctors and google story a bit more. The study seems to indicate that doctors can use google to diagnose illness. I don’t think anyone actually said that a lay person could use google to diagnose themselves.

  3. #9 is – WOW. I do wish we’d learn to listen to our *feelings* (not just hysterical emotions, which so often come from ego – but *gut feelings*) more often. This is sooooo true and a lesson I wish I had learned earlier.

  4. There are certainly many ways to learn and many stories of successful people who famously did not attend or dropped out of higher education. But for my time and money, there is no better way than immersion into an environment where you guided by industry experts through an exchange of ideas (learning is a two way conversation), a review of existing body of knowledge (why try to start from nothing?), and challenged to improve that body of knowledge (don’t just accept what you are taught, but challenge it as well).

    That is what I get from the college experience and why I will continue to leverage the wealth of intellectual challenge, professional networking resources, and social connections offered by universities.

  5. I have to comment on two of the responses:
    First, the idea that the love of money is the root of all evil. I don’t agree. That idea will cause a lot of good people to feel guilty because they do love money. I love money. I believe it is the most useful tool ever devised. I love it even more than my power tools.
    The evil is the belief in the zero sum game and the belief in scarcity. It is the belief that to have money, I must take it from someone. It is the belief that if I don’t have money something awful will happen.
    The second rebuttal is about the comment: Most people don’t have time to home school their kids and they can’t do nearly as well as a “professional”. Unless you are a professional protecting your turf, I suggest you do a little research. You will find out that the professionals have failed your chilren abysmally. With only a few minutes a day you can do a better job or correct some of the damage if your children must stay in school.

  6. Interesting thoughts and comments. One area is missing, however, and deserves inclusion.
    I am 77 and consider myself average to above average as a former Navy fighter pilot, pathologist, golfer, tennis player, investor, and father. In one area I consider myself to be “world class” i.e. a world class husband.
    The adages that I have adhered to are:
    If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife as a thoroughbred, she won’t turn into an old nag.
    The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
    Of course it helps to marry a wonderful woman.
    I envy no man.

  7. Re: #10: You’re partly right, but I suspect the larger plan is to reduce the size of government over the long term by bankrupting the system. That way they can blame the Democrats now that they have taken control of congress.

  8. It’s strange how you equate atheism to evil in #8. Maybe another thing that was drilled into your head until you believed it ?
    I’d just add another item for you: prejudice.

  9. My #11 is “Believe what you read.”

    The kerfluffle over 1 Timothy 6:10 is nicely illustrative here; many people seem to be arguing from what someone else said that Paul said – isn’t that what a translation is, after all? Paul’s Greek text to Timothy reads thus (Romanized; “w” for omega, “h” for eta): “riza gar pantwn twn kakwn estin h filarguria”. Literally translated, this reads “For a root of all of the evils is the love of money” – where “filarguria” can also be read as “avarice” or “covetousness”, and “riza” can be read as “foundation” or “origin”. “All kinds of evil” is a poor choice here given what we mean these days when we say “all kinds of [whatever]” – that is, “lots and lots of [whatever]”; it really does, here, mean all kinds, which is to say “every kind”. (“Pas”, of which “pantwn” is a form – the genitive plural – means “all, whole, entire”.)

    (This sets aside the issue of whether I agree with Paul here; I don’t. There’s an awful lot of evil in the world that has nothing to do with the love of money. But I digress; the lesson here is that the first question ought to be not “do I agree or disagree with this?” but “do I understand this, with which I’m meant to be agreeing or disagreeing?”.)

  10. #6 An Australian study found that 50% of all Google based diagnoses are wrong (when a doctor only uses Google to diagnose, can you imagine what it would be for lay-people?). The other problem with internet diagnoses is how quickly they can lead to hypochondria (which in itself is a psychiatric condition, look under somato-form disorders in the DSM-IV-TR).

  11. I just want to say thanks! You are certainly a very wise person… I’m passing this on to all i know so that they too may benefit from what you ahve to say!

  12. About the degrees, i agree that they mean nothing. Just because someone has a degree doesn’t mean they know any of the material they learned. Even if they passed the tests how many college students do you know who constantly find ways to cheat or get “help” with their homework or tests. Also, have you ever seen a degree or diploma of someone’s with the GPA they graduated with printed on it? No, but they have the degree and that is why people think that these people are so helpful.

  13. The thing about doctors misdiagnosing people is sadly true. my grandmother went to her doc with a bad rash all over her body, so bad it was bleeding, and was told it was Shingles. She went around for 6 months believing this was what she had and it made her feel dirty and like she was some kind of leper. She went to another doctor later only to find out that it WASNT Shingles, but just an allergic reaction to one of her medications. What do these doctors got to school for 10 years for if they cant properly diagnose someone?! Apparently college and a degree doesnt always make some people smarter or good at what they do for a living. What a crackpot he was, he should lose his license. He was treating her for something she never even had and just shoving more meds down her throat to make his money and to get her out of his office. How could it never occur to him that this might be an allergy to one of the too many meds she was already taking? I guess he didnt feel it was worth his time to find out which one was the problem before assuming it was something else.

  14. I must say I would have to agree with most of what you said, except for a few things.

    For one – and maybe Im totally misinterpreting you on this – but I think that being too emotional is very destructive and will only lead to acting on impulse, but I also think that being too logical will lead to inaction, so the key is balance, that one word which everyone always says but few really know the meaning of.

    Secondly, the whole self-help thing – there are too many people who seek self-help as a kind of cure all, a silver bullet for all of their problems, and they just end up becoming addicted to things like that. They completely give up on trying to solve problems for themselves and just expect the “gurus” to do everything.

    As for education, I agree wholeheartedly that our education system is completely out of whack. I also think that education is the root of a functional society. I think most people agree with that notion, but the response of most people is to just throw money at it until all the problems just magically go away. What we need to do is change the way it works as a whole – rewrite the system: the curriculum, the management, everything about it, because the end result of all that money being thrown at the school system is a bunch of kids doing the same old busy work on antique mahogany tables with solid gold pencils.

    Finally, on the topic of Republicans, I am not a republican, but I know that the republicans are for shrinking the government. George Bush is not a Republican. He probably doesnt even know what the word means! Did you ever wonder why he calls himself a “Neocon”? Its because he cant call himself a real conservative. Seriously, look at the word CONSERVATIVE. the root there is conserve, as in conserve money, as in spend less, as in shrink the government. Sure, its fun and trendy to blame everything on Republicans and Conservatives, but really, learn who youre slamming before you just blindly lash out. The reason the party is so f***ed up recently is because people have forgotten what the words themselves mean. That goes for all political parties, not just the right wing. I, personally am of no political party, because I believe that they all have their heads up their asses.

  15. I agree with most of your points but it is a tragedy that you have decided to put the blame and focus on the Republican party, moreover, Bush. That man has done great things for this country and if it weren’t for the left-wing media the rest of the country (and the world) would see that. If you did your research you would find that the Republicans (more specific Conservitaves) are for exactly what you said. Self-improvment, not relying on the government. Doing something with your life and not wasting the people who do earn money’s tax dollars on useless and parasitic social programs. So who exactly has the answer? The Democrats? THAT is the “insanity” you speak of. You will never see more hippocritical and useless ideas than those of the left. God help us all now that they run the country. So much for morals and being held accountable for your own actions. So much for focusing on progress instead of the non-stop attack on one of the better presidents of our time. So much for using your own logic and observations to guide your descion making progress instead of being just another drone listening to what Micheal Moore and MSNBC wants you to think. The Republican party is not in any sense of the word perfect but they are closer to having it right then any Democrat or liberal could ever hope to be. It’s gonna be a true tragedy when this country goes to Hell in handbasket and those who actual have the ability to think for themselves (like myself) will sadly have to say “I told you so”.

  16. I’ve never, ever heard that a job is the best way to earn money. A job, for most people, is the ONLY way to earn money. Not everybody has the self-drive to own their own business, not everybody has the ideas to create their own products or services, and not everybody who does have the first two is able to get the resources to get their ideas to market. A job is the most common and lowest-risk way to earn money. But, like college, it’s not for everyone.

  17. I disagree with everything youve said except for #1 and #4. I have no opinion on #8 and #10, therefore I believe most of what youve said is wrong.

    No one has a job, – added by Steve Olson: I didn’t say that, read it again.

    Everyone is emotional, – added by Steve Olson: I didn’t say that, read it again.

    No one has a degree, – added by Steve Olson: I didn’t say that, read it again.

    There are no schools, – added by Steve Olson: I kind of said that, but I was talking about the big government schools.

    There are no doctors, – added by Steve Olson: I didn’t say that, read it again.

    and everyone makes decisions not on what they know, not based on previous experience, not on what theyve learned but instead on how they feel inside. – edited by Steve Olson: I didn’t say that, read it again.

    what a world that would be…

    Look, based on laws of change in history, if there is anything wrong with society the problem is discovered, identified and solved in every possible case, eventually. Given an inordinate length of time, all problems that a society can experience will be solved through the passage of time, as it is in the nature of a species to evolve in this way. Looking at your article, I see many of your assumptions are generalizations assocated to problems in society that have long been solved. You are contradicting the way society works, especially, I repeat, with schools, doctors, degrees, jobs and logical thinking.

  18. I agree with the money thing it is a tool but here’s a couple of questions,

    1.How can you achieve anything without a college degree?
    2.If emotions are the strength of people then how come they are surrendering to people who lie to them about helping them? Thats just being a slave to your emotions
    3. If rich people are saying the job is the worst way to make money that is because it makes very little money to them, and that is because they are ENTREPRENURS they just pay for the workers, machines, their electric bill, water bill, food bill etc.
    4. Doctors use the web to reaserch the diseases they don’t know about and were not trained about. And plus ins’t it true that you had a flu shot when you were a kid, and if so did it work?
    5. School is how people learn from others mistakes not just your own. If we did not learn how the romans lost their empire to pegans then we would have lost to Iraq by now. PLUS how would our kids know how to read, write, learn other languages, how the government works, and the birds and the bees? Through a student’s point of view who goes to Hardford all the teachers teach their opinions not the facts, so you may be thinking of that school.
    6. Common logic helps you belive what you think and some other points that are just reasonable. If you went to chuch and noticed the ten commandments the reason of why they were posted there was to control the people and put everyone in a equal state of class or where they belong. For example: thou shalt not steal- If you steal then that makes you a theif and makes others hate you. If the anti-stealing law is approved then others are equal and the person who does would be sent to prison.
    7. Republican parties have a strong belief of them getting robbed from taxes by the government, that is why we have tax refund and an accountant helps you with that kind of problem. Republicans do not lie they are people who play by the rules and use facts and on the other hand some people who use bribery or corruption to have them vote for them is a crime and most democratic people are hipocrats and just don’t do anything to change the government and make up some lame excuse. “Sorry, you are wrong about that stupid statment”

  19. Regarding the school thing–I am an educator and I will gladly tell you that John Taylor Gatto is mostly full of 100% crap. I am not defending the education system here in America–anyone with a brain can tell you the system is fundamentally and egregiously flawed.

    However, to try and say that all teachers do is knock down their students and try and chisel away whatever makes them unique is wrong. I encourage my students to think for themselves, to question me and my motives, and I know many of my fellow teachers do as well. To assume all I teach is “confusion” because I have to hit a wide variety of topics is asinine, and the assumption that school exists ONLY to wipe out individualism and replace it with mindless consumerism is a grave injustice to the thousands of teachers who bust their butts every day and night, staying up long hours (and I mean LONG hours) trying to help the students become more than they could imagine for themselves. If all schools were like this, then how did ANY of us rise above? If all teachers did was try and convince students that their free will is irrelevant, and that knowledge is useless, then how do any of us ever evolve a brain on on our own?

    What bugs me the most about this is that, if this is what he did in his class, and he was teacher of the year, then what the heck were the other teachers in New York doing? How about recognizing teachers who actually believed in their profession? How about recognizing teachers who hadn’t cashed in their optimism and started drowning in their own nihilistic , self-deprecating sludge?

    If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s the endless doomsday rant of the self “enlightened” who stare at the rest of the world with an ironic smirk, convinced that every viscous lie that comes out of their mouth is a pearl of wisdom we should harbor while it festers and infects the rest of us. Get a real job, John Taylor Gatto

  20. Go Groon! The situations John Taylor Gatto puts forward as representative of the country’s public school system as whole are at once ridiculous exaggerations and simplifications designed to set up a scenario where Gatto can appear to be the righteous rebel. The staff at the public school that my kid attends (Douglas County School District, Colorado) absolutely do not work their buts off in order “to supply a mass-production economy with a docile workforce, … ask too little of children, and thereby drain youngsters of curiosity and autonomy.” (Fast Company article about Gatto). Just the opposite. The staff at our school go above and beyond to reward curiosity and expect autonomy. Kids in this grade school are expected to make decisions, to work independently, to be creative and perform work and projects with guidance –but not specific directions – from parents and teachers.

  21. #1 fails a simple logic test.

    Premise: Money is the root of all evil.

    Fact: You can do good with money
    Fact: You can do evil with money

    Fact #1 does not fail the premise. The mere fact that fact #1 is true does not mean that the premise fails.

    All evil has at its roots the desire for money. That some good also has at its root, money, does not change this fact.

  22. #2 fails a simple logic test:

    Your Premise: A good job is not the best way to earn money

    Fact: Good jobs earn money
    Fact: Entrepreneur’s have a “better way” to earn money

    This is to suggest that being an entrepreneur ISN’T A JOB … but it is. The fact that you work for yourself doesn’t mean you don’t have a job.

  23. The best way to earn money appears to be to have a website where you tell people what fools they are for having jobs, instead of internet scams, and then another website, where you direct people to the first website (ad infinitum) and you have your friend Will over at MSNBC’s CLICKED direct people over to these sites day after day after day (ad infinitum) … so that your impressions go up, and you get more money for your Google adsense ads.

    I guess a lot of people are falling for this.

    Sort of makes me wonder if you and Will are in on it together, or whether these sites are, in fact, owned by Will over at Clicked.

  24. @ Groon:

    If you disagree with John Taylor Gatto, refute his points.
    Especially in regards to school sequences and indifference.

    School Sequences:
    At a university level, the main difference between texts from one year to the next is the order in which the chapters are printed, and the order in which the homework questions are printed.
    Different editions are constantly printed in an effort to milk more money from students, by falsely claiming that students cannot use texts from previous years, when the only realistic difference between the books is the page number.
    This random shuffling of the order of presentation of information also highlights the lack of importance placed on the logical flow of information, and consequently many professors do not teach chapters in the same order they are presented in the books.
    In terms of elementary school, often the only connection between lessons is a 5 minute review of the past class at the beginning of the lesson.
    Sometimes classes overlap, filling up more than one timeslot, but far too often there is no overall theme uniting lessons, other than the general subject which is being taught.

    “But when the bell rings I insist that they stop whatever it is that we’ve been working on and proceed quickly to the next work station.”
    In university, courses will be given an appropriate amount of time to complete the day’s task in, but in elementary school, lessons often have to be crafted for timeslots that are simply too short.
    As JTG rightly says, it is often the case that students become interested in a topic, but must quickly forget their interest (and questions) and move on to the next class. More often than not, students will either not remember their interest/questions by the time they get home, or simply won’t care anymore.
    It should come as no surprise that this is the same system we use for the working class. If you have finished your tasks for the day, find an additional task to kill the rest of your shift. But no matter what you are doing when your shift ends, drop it; your boss does not want to pay you overtime.

    The link, if you didn’t read it: http://hometown.aol.com/tma68/7lesson.htm

  25. Point #5 – Explain this to kids who live in a generational poverty situation – ONLY through EDUCATION and PERSERVERANCE can this cycle be broken. Education is power, and with power is the ability to choose what type of life you want to create for yourself.

    Point #10 – Growing the government is something that cannot be helped especially during war, recession – anything else would have left us in a huge depression. America experienced the same type of government during WWII and was able to recover and stay strong.
    Although we may not be able to see the benefits of what the Iraq war has accomplished – history will tell the true story years from now.
    I am sure a lot of people had a hard time seeing the benefits of fighting against Hitler during WWII – but today there is no doubt the good it accomplished. Hopefully people will understand the importance of removing Saddam Hussein from power – too bad we can’t ask the people in the mass graves to give us their view.

  26. Although Mr. Jingles decided to attack from the right, I have to agree with his base assessment. I read this blog and thought it made some excellent points, but was sullied by the decision of the author to push a particular political agenda. This would have been far more powerful without injecting that sort of rhetoric.

  27. Previous post: “have you ever seen a degree or diploma of someone’s with the GPA they graduated with printed on it?”

    Yeah, mine. In effect. It has “summa cum laude” printed on it. For the non-college-educated out there, that translates to a GPA of 4.00 (all A’s).

  28. Fish:

    I really didn’t want to get too far into it–I didn’t feel that this was an appropriate space to do so. But to respond to something you mentioned very quickly.

    The fact that at some point a lesson has to end and a new one has to take its place does not automatically lead to a disinterest in learning. That is a false cause-effect premise. A teacher who plans the lesson right is able to do his/her best to fit the timeslot available. This doesn’t mean that all questions and points are finished by the time the class is over, but that the lesson objective for the day is complete. If the students have more questions or are interested, great! But the fact that they have to go to some other topic after that doesn’t mean that they will lose that interest. I encourage my students to find out more after class on their own. I start out the next day answering whatever questions they might have about previously discussed material. If they show an interest in something, I will try to bring in more material to supplement their interest. But even then, the fact that I have moved on to something else doesn’t send the message that they shouldn’t care about it in the first place. It only says it’s time to move onto something else. Heck, one of my goals in class is to get them to care enough about somethign to FINALLY do something on their own about it outside of school!

    And even though the stories we read and the activities we do aren’t all “connected” by a common thread, plot, or theme, this doesn’t mean that the kids are too stupid to make connections on their own. It doesn’t mean that they can’t start to make the big picture for themselves. I help them, but just because I talk about Poe one week, and Anne Frank the next, it doesn’t mean it confuses them. My students are able to have a conversation amongst themselves with four different topics going on at once, and JTG’s trying to tell me they are incapable of handling two different stories on two separate days? Please.

    Okay, so it wasn’t so quick. 🙂

  29. I have — delivered a baby, rescued a person from a burning car-wreck, flown and landed an aircraft ‘cross-country, programmed NASA computers, particpated in a cutting-edge astronomical research team, taught business for a major university, played music in front of a grand total of maybe a half-million people, sailed a schooner, ended a major war,
    ridden thousands of miles on motocross motorcycles, been a published poet, made a pretty good CD, been broadcast internationally, hosted my own TV show, written magazine articles, created and marketed musical softwares, jammed with some of the greatest musicians in country, rock, and folk, tried skydiving, climbed mountains, run two presidential campaign offices, written legislation, and published a novel — all without a college degree. That’s a partial list and I’m still “rockin”. I’m not at all wealthy, granted, but I haven’t needed that either. A college education is priceless (and very expensive!). A batchelor’s degree is a licence to work in an office. Stay in school — but don’t ever drop out of life, either.

  30. I was lucky enough that my parents did teach me all of these lessons. I’m only 18 years old, and I know that my circumstances growing up are very unique in that my parents are very intelligent, very independent, self-sufficent, driven, while also having a good grip on what’s most important in life and teaching my brothers and I how to maintain good relationships.

    My father opened his own business and it’s something I’m seriously considering as well. I’m also considering teaching because I’ve had great teachers that use the system to overcome public education shortcomings. Plus, teaching – if you’re good at it and it’s something you love – is a sort of investment that isn’t monetary. I’m also looking into mechanical engineering. At first I was unsure about it, but after reading about the benefits of intellectual property, I’m sure mechanical engineering would be a great investment.

    I will say that, although, a college degree is not necessary, it is very helpful. My dad had never graduated HS or earned a college degree. Though he was intelligent and was great at making money, he needed someone with a degree to help him get the business started – that’s where his partner (who had a entreprenurial degree) came in. A college degree, like money, is a tool that enables you to reach higher goals, but without reativity, drive, and knowledge, someone could have 10 PhDs and not accomplish anything (for example: professional students).

  31. I am very disappointed in quite a few things here. It was well written, but a few of the comments are extremely dangerous.

    1. Arguing the literal interpretation of this is rather passe’. I’m sure there are a few literalists out there that this would help, but for the most part this is understood.

    2. While this is a fine, possibly even good, point, any of the literalists helped by #1 now find themselves panhandling in the street.

    3. Here you have simplified things to the point of danger. Sure emotions can strengthened people if properly harnessed, but you are nearly advocating 2nd degree murder! Emotions are the gateway to the Id, and are selfserving. Understand your emotions. Think about what you are feeling and why. They can open the door to new ideas. They can also hurt everyone around you. Hate crimes are emotional. Adultry is emotional. Think about why you feel what you feel and learn from it, but keep them controlled.

    4. I agree whole-heartedly with this point. But, it contradicts #3. Fear is an instinctually emotional response.

    5. Again, a very good point.

    6. This will drive people to try to diagnose themselves with a simple google search. What happens when you can’t get the drugs the web community says you need because your doctor disagrees? Wholistic medicine? Illegal drugs?

    7. For avoiding political opinions, this is a rather political statement. How would you like children to learn? I’m not trying to be accusitory with this question, I would just like to see your non-political answer.

    8. This helps me to make a lot of sense in the rest of your post. Self-help may not be left wing or hippyish, but majority of it is terrible to the point of harm. Most self help material tries to *correct* some eternal problem in the subject. At best, it will try to tell them how they should think, at worst it can destroy their self esteem by telling them that they are broken and wrong. Some self help may be able to do some good for some people, but it is useless or harmful for most. I fell you are trying to minipulate people with problems in their life. This is nothing more than a shameful plug for your own products, as subtle as it is.

    9. This is nothing more than a reiteration of point 3. It sure would feel good to buy a 300″ plasma TV. It would also feel good to stop going to work and play video games 18 hours a day. It would feel great to eat ice cream for every meal. Everyone gets road rage. It’s only by controlling our emotions that we don’t react inappropriately. What are your feelings on people who rear-end the guy who just cut him off. Is that response an emotional one? Rationally, I would think about the damage done to my own vehicle, the possibility of punishment, and the causality of additional drivers being hurt by my actions. Emotionally, I would feel justified and retrobution would be the immediate course. Or, do you not ever get angry?

    10. While you may have editted out some overt political statement that I haven’t seen, I think your politics still ring out in a few of these. Might want to give it another look-over to make this legitimate.

  32. Can you help me find some information about debating ?
    The topic is “Is the college degree the most important thing to find a job?”

  33. The second topic is “Pollution in one country is the responsibility of the world ,yes or not ? And why?”

  34. From the book “A Page a Day” by Ken Adams, a book full of things I wish I knew earlier.


    Wealth denotes welfare, and labor is the basis of all wealth. Of all human endeavors, constructive thinking is the most valuable. All wealth springs from thought, and a constructive thinker is worth more than either a capitalist or the laborer, yet together they create the greatest wealth.
    Good sense is the greatest form of wealth. The greatest privilege of wealth is the ability to make others happy. The True wealth of any nation is its educated citizens.
    To acquire honest wealth in money requires hard work, shrewd transactions, and thrifty management; trying to keep it gives rise to fear; and to lose it causes grief.
    Abundance is a blessing, but riches in a fool’s pocket are a curse. Instead of supplying wants, it creates more wants. The only way to take wealth beyond the grave is to convert it into good deeds. The only worthwhile use of wealth is wise application of it. Money after all is only a tool. It can build nothing if locked inside a box.

  35. Birdie nice comment about republicans. Couldn’t be more true.
    Steve and Austin, get over yourselves. Not everyone is a biblethumping weirdo who can recite direct quotes, especially if they have anything resembling a REAL life.
    Geldon, she never said college is not the best way to money, she said success. Vastly different things with no ven diagram common ground. And most teachers are not professionals unless they teach college and even then it is debatable if they are a better choise than self teaching.
    ToasTeh, people who can not be responsible for their own offspring should not have them, period. If you are not competent to teach your children important things about life, you should not have them and teachers are a dismal substitute.
    Joel, what is dangerous for a teenager about these points is not that they might not be ready for them, its realizing that they are being lied to by the people they trust the most in life.
    Cyber_rigger, Libertarian is not equal to small government, it is equal to global destruction of civiliation. So move on, shut your mouth and open your eyes, or are your sockets empty?
    James, nice point about atheists. Often the subject of undeserved scrutiny and miscategorization.
    MEP, Democrats and not all or always socialists. Though anyone who wants to be that involved in politics should probably take a step back and see the big picture…..that nothing will ever REALLY change.
    Bill, don’t lie to yourself or anyone else. Staying in a bad relationship is NEVER and good thing. Especially when there are kids involved. They should not have to grow up with that as their model for what relationships should be like. But here is a tip for (well for more women than men) everyone: DON’T GET IN A BAD RELATIONSHP IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!
    Diane Chance, your criticism of the ‘oh, so basic’ rant seems to be remarkably basic as well. Everyone claims they have ‘observed things since they were young’, really get a new line already would you, that one is tired and cliché.

  36. @Meshosh:

    A degree clearly also doesn’t provide innate spelling/typing capabilities. 🙂

    RE: Politics/#10 (which I have not been able to read):

    Democrats are wrong. Republicans are wrong. Independents are also wrong. But Dems/Reps [in general] have this belief that they [respectively] are right. Unfortunately, neither party stands for what they claimed at one point to stand for.

    Over the past 50 years, both parties have reversed positions on some core beliefs. Neither party wants to reduce government. Neither wants to reduce regulation. Neither wants to reduce taxes/debt. They just want to move it around from one part of government to another. At least indies realize they have to work with each party to get something done.

    Perhaps a restated #10 might read: All politicians are corrupt liars who compomise their values. (Hmm…was the cynical viewpoint from grade school, or from experience as a grew older and more educated???) Politics and leading a nation must be collaborative. It has to be. After all, if I vote for politician A, but B gets elected, I am *still* represented by B, and it is his obligation to listen to me, respect my views, and consider me in his decision making.

  37. To Labyrinth Girl:

    “Diane Chance, your criticism of the ‘oh, so basic’ rant seems to be remarkably basic as well. Everyone claims they have ‘observed things since they were young’, really get a new line already would you, that one is tired and cliché.”

    Your statement might be true, or it might not. Depends on the person. It’s obviously true to you. Let’s go with your perspective now. This particular line you decided was sort of the main theme of my ‘oh, so basic’ criticism, is in fact a very ‘basic’ line – it’s true but, not what my statements are based on. Also, whether I choose to incorporate ‘cliches’ in my statements does not break or make my point. That depends on the reader anyhow as we all have different points of view.

    I’ll tell you, if we were to ‘battle’ on who’s making basic statements, yours would definitely come first and win. Compare the 2 side by side darling – depth of thought does stand out to a person unless that person can’t understand the information yet. Follow me?

    BTW, sorry everyone for misspelling Psychology! That’s going to be my Major and I couldn’t even spell it right in my previous post…Gosh! (lol).

    Take care,

    -Diana Chance

  38. I absolutely love this. I’m going through a tough time in my life right now, and in talking to a friend of mine about it, she linked me here.

    I read through this with a closed mind, thinking it was some “stupid self-help junk”. But after reading it I realized you’re right. Completely right. It opened my mind to new things, and gave me hope. I read a little of it every few days, and have linked several friends here as well.

    Thank you for posting something that most people would be afraid to post. I think that most people wouldn’t make a post like this in fear of getting bad feedback on it. But you did, and I love it.

    Always and All ways,

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