In a New York Times advice piece to high school graduates a few years ago, commentator David Brooks revealed his initial thoughts after being asked to give a commencement address: “I used to believe life got better as you got older, but now I realize this is untrue,” Brooks lamented. He then lambasted higher education for its woeful inadequacy—though he left unstated the possible connection between these two points.
Brooks pointed out many of the things lacking in modern education: “The most important decision any of us make is who we marry. Yet there are no courses on how to choose a spouse. … The most important talent any person can possess is the ability to make and keep friends. And yet here too there is no curriculum for this. The most important skill a person can possess is the ability to control one’s impulses. Here too, we’re pretty much on our own.
Right now, thousands of people are suffering from violence all over the world: civil war in Africa, drug war in Latin America, Islamist terrorism around the globe. Ten thousand children have died in Syria, isis and other killings have claimed thousands more in Iraq, and 298 innocent people just perished in Ukraine after a civilian airliner was shot down—not to mention the hundreds who have died recently in the ongoing conflict with Russia.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest recently claimed that over the past six years the Obama administration has “furthered American interests and substantially improved the tranquility of the global community.”