“Quit Telling Us We’re Not Special”

One of the more interesting internet sensations of the summer has been the commencement speech by English teacher David McCullough, “You’re Not Special.” (watch the YouTube video or read the transcript.)

Perhaps just as compelling although not quite as viral was the reply his speech generated from a Millennial blogger. Titled “Quit Telling Us We’re Not Special,” it’s not quite as well put-together, but it does an impressive job of offering the other side of the story, the perspective of the struggling and frustrated young adult.

David McCullough ought to have given that speech not to the graduates, but to their parents. We have not yet begun to shape the world: we are living in the one you created. And it’s killing us.

From Leonard Sax books to any number of reports and articles on “helicopter parenting,” there’s a growing perception that today’s middle- and upper-middle class younger generation isn’t getting enough opportunities to learn from their failures or gain an early enough sense of independence from the watchful and fretting adult world around them.


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1 Response

  1. David says:

    Not a fan of pointing fingers at the next generation who has neither succeeded nor failed yet – while those dishing out all of the ‘wisdom’ preside for more than a decade over a declining economy and reach of opportunity. Kids today don’t have half what we had growing up feeling safe in the world and like we had a stake both individually and collectively. And none of their extra curricular activities or electronic gadgets will make up for that fact. Read this well thought out reaction to the McCullough Speech. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/phoenixandolivebranch/2012/06/open-letter-from-a-millennial-quit-telling-us-were-not-special/