Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Commencement speech

“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben Parker, sometime in 1962

With great ability comes the responsibility to use it, hone it, and make the world better, at least for yourself and those around you.

Toward the end of my book The Imaginary Revolution, after tyranny is overturned and folks sit around talking about what the new government should look like, my hero smiles and asks a more basic question.

Why do we even need a government?

I left the question to hang in the air, but the conversation may have gone like this.

“Because there are those who can’t fend for themselves.”

For this we need regulations that often have the net effect of hampering the ability to help the needy?

“Because the unscrupulous would prey on the weak.”

And what of the unscrupulous predators who use the government as their weapon?

“Because we need an educated populace.”

Yes, we do, and in fact my own philosophy depends on people being educated enough to know better. So, who will do the educating if not government agents? Here’s a thought: Teach kids how to learn and they will educate themselves. Live the free life and they will learn to be free.

Kids, you will succeed as long as you add something of value to the world. Make something with your hands or your mind. Restore something. Preserve something. Leave the world better or more enriched than you found it — every day.

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