I spoke in Ithaca, NY on “Personal Accountability” in Warren Hall to 100 Cornell University students. It was … surreal.
I took classes in Warren, graduating in 1980—and had never been back.
Afterward, student Joseph lamented, “Mr. Miller, it’d be difficult to use your ideas here because of ‘moral dependency’ … .”
Not knowing that phrase, I showed complete confusion, but he continued with a vocabulary 5x mine.
Finally, my old brain needed clarity like lungs need oxygen. I interjected, “Joseph, you’re saying you don’t want to play the victim but friends, peers, and the campus culture say you are a victim?”
Like the patient teacher observing his pupil’s comprehension, he exclaimed, “Now you’ve got it!”
A friend often uses the phrase, “I can’t even imagine,” so I’ll employ it here —
I can’t even imagine feeling compelled by others to hold a Pity Party, view life as unfair, be routinely offended, and play the victim.
I had no words.
Later, an old joke came to mind —
Patient: “Doc, it hurts when I lift my arms over my head.”
Doc: “THEN DON’T DO THAT!”
I failed Joseph by not being that blunt. If we meet again, I’ll say — “DON’T PLAY THE VICTIM!” ?
What would you have told Joseph?
Watch education expert, Joanna Williams, share her view of what’s happening in our schools today.