Skip to comments.Advice for a new grad (Justice Scalia's Graduation Speech to Langley High School -- GREAT PIECE!)
Posted on 06/20/2010 4:00:01 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
On Thursday, Justice Antonin Scalia gave the commencement address at Langley High School, in Virginia, where his granddaughter was graduating. An excerpt:
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
[A] platitude I want discuss comes in many flavors. It can be variously delivered as, Follow your star, or Never compromise your principles. Or, quoting Polonius in Hamlet who people forget was supposed to be an idiot To thine ownself be true. Now this can be very good or very bad advice. Indeed, follow your star if you want to head north and its the North Star. But if you want to head north and its Mars, you had better follow somebody elses star.
Indeed, never compromise your principles. Unless, of course, your principles are Adolf Hitlers. In which case, you would be well advised to compromise your principles, as much as you can.
And indeed, to thine ownself be true, depending upon who you think you are. Its a belief that seems particularly to beset modern society, that believing deeply in something, and following that belief, is the most important thing a person could do. Get out there and picket, or boycott, or electioneer, or whatever. I am here to tell you that it is much less important how committed you are, than what you are committed to. If I had to choose, I would always take the less dynamic, indeed even the lazy person who knows whats right, than the zealot in the cause of error. He may move slower, but hes headed in the right direction.
Movement is not necessarily progress. More important than your obligation to follow your conscience, or at least prior to it, is your obligation to form your conscience correctly. Nobody remember this neither Hitler, nor Lenin, nor any despot you could name, ever came forward with a proposal that read, Now, lets create a really oppressive and evil society. Hitler said, Lets take the means necessary to restore our national pride and civic order. And Lenin said, Lets take the means necessary to assure a fair distribution of the goods of the world.
In short, it is your responsibility, men and women of the class of 2010, not just to be zealous in the pursuit of your ideals, but to be sure that your ideals are the right ones. That is perhaps the hardest part of being a good human being: Good intentions are not enough. Being a good person begins with being a wise person. Then, when you follow your conscience, will you be headed in the right direction.
Good speech. However, it reminded me of a modification of one of those ‘platitudes’.
“Never compromise your principles. That will happen soon enough, when you become a parent.”
Love that guy!
Now that is a clear thinking ORATOR!
Obama is a digrace on all fronts.
Truth is objective. Either you discover it or get it wrong. Wise advice indeed.
“To thine own self be true.” Unless, of course, if you’re an idiot; then never mind.
Being a good person requires being a wise person...
Wisdom comes from experience.
A brilliant lesson. I hope the little darlings can understand it.
RE: To thine own self be true. Unless, of course, if youre an idiot; then never mind.
That’s what he’s probably thinking, except he can’t say he in this speech. It essentially came out as — FIRST, AVOID IDIOCY AND DON’T RELY ON MERE GOOD INTENTIONS BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT ANYTHING DRASTIC.
These thoughts ought to be ingrained in the minds of our idealistic youth:
“Movement is not necessarily progress. More important than your obligation to follow your conscience, or at least prior to it, is your obligation to form your conscience correctly.”
Now the next question of course is this -— ON WHAT DO WE BASE CORRECT CONSCIENCE ON ?
Unfortunately, people seldom ask this question in our classrooms anymore...
A much needed message in a narcissistic society.
“Now the next question of course is this - ON WHAT DO WE BASE CORRECT CONSCIENCE ON ?
Unfortunately, people seldom ask this question in our classrooms anymore...”
They don’t take it that far. They are like mindless robots. They don’t THINK! They FEEL. They lack knowledge live on propaganda. They don’t see the difference.
PLEASURE is what is more important to them. It allows them to FEEL good! Our culture is falling a part.
The answer has not changed:
That book used to be allowed in our schools. Now we can’t even teach its precepts because apparently it violates the principles of “separation of church and state”.
That is because activist, liberal judges have applied only the First Amendment’s (”establishment”) part of the religion clause, and have deliberately ignored the second (”free expression”) part...
In addition, parenting, as you know, is largely teaching, and nobody teaches merely by stating and insisting on his principles. When you refrain from from banging your child on the head, you do not compromise your principles but allow the child some time and personal experience to understand those principles and, hopefully, internalize them.
Finally, not everything is a principle. Compromising on small things that adopted in our own life just because they suited our personality is no compromise at all.