We Shouldn’t All Go to College

Bernie Sanders has been going around suggesting that public universities should be free for students to attend.

Essentially, he wants to build a country in which the expectation is even greater that people go to college, whether or not that will be useful to their career. We already have seen signs of the cost of college versus its benefits degrade in value. The blame is put on the cost and the loans that students take out without ever addressing the quality of the education or the fundamental question: are too many people going to college who shouldn’t?

Considering the learning opportunities now available to us for free online, college no longer holds the keys to higher education. It simply holds the power of granting degrees (or at least accredited degrees). Kids are told early on about how they should go to college, long before there has been any consideration as to whether or not college would actually be beneficial. There’s not even a serious discussion. It’s just “college or bust,” when in fact it is closer to “college or create success elsewhere.”

Making college free will only exacerbate the problem. This is a government solution to a problem that has nothing to do with the cost. The cost should exist so that people think critically about actually going. And if people gave it critical consideration, colleges would be forced to step up their educational game and lower prices to try to entice more people to attend. Student loan companies would need to offer more favorable rates as an incentive to go through the trouble of paying for college.

This is a problem that can be solved by letting the free market run its course. It’s going to happen soon. If the government steps in before the market gets to take care of the problem, we will be left with a much longer-term problem in the form of the federal government being stuck with the bill for something that will become unsustainable and eventually go to ruin.

Not everyone should go to college. If that was preached as an okay thing – which it is – this problem would solve itself.

Prepared to Defend

Are you ready to rise to the occasion?

Being prepared to be aggressive is an under-recognized positive trait. I would argue that an underlying ability to defend your ground, physically and mentally, should be commendable, even if at times it comes across as “too tough” (big ol’ load of BS right there).

Note that I’m not advocating for bullying. Far, far from it. I am saying that being able to defend one’s self and the people around you is a wonderful thing.

Learn the art of rhetoric and learn how to throw a punch. Both are worth knowing when the time comes.

Eventually We Want People to Make Sense

The rhetoric of a nonsense spewing wannabe political figure such as Donald Trump will always fall short of statements of substance.

Eventually, his fans will flock elsewhere as they tire of hearing him answer every questions with, “We will make America great again!” It’s fine for a slogan, even a campaign promise, but it’s not policy.

We do want to be led by people of substance, who actually understand what they are doing. There was an early belief by some that Trump’s business experience would provide that substance – an entirely warranted belief, by the way, considering his success (ignoring whatever you may think of it). However, it is turning out that you need to eventually provide a useful world outlook and be capable of understanding more than the insular world you have built for yourself. Just ask Sarah Palin (although she’s too far gone into her own head that she’d never understand the problem).

Some people will continue to support such buffoons; however, the masses will move toward leaders with actual knowledge and decision-making ability.

Trump’s numbers took a slide recently. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s going to start tanking tomorrow, but it is a chink in the armor. It’s just representative of people who have come down from the emotional high he provided and now want to vote for someone useful.

Don’t Normally Watch that Show…

Over the past few years, I’ve chosen to watch a number of television shows that would normally be “out of my element.” I won’t divulge the list here, but I assure that they range from teen soaps to crime procedurals to sitcoms (only one or two reality TV shows and none of the ones from Bravo or E).

Many I have hated, yet there have been more than a few that I have quite liked – even a couple I started to follow closely.

It’s been a useful exercise in expanding my tastes. I’ve been able to understand the tastes of others a little better.

This may be a strange thing to do, but the next time you say “I hate that show” without really knowing it, try actually watching. Try investing in the characters’ story arcs. Pay attention to what could make it interesting. You may find a new favorite, or you may just be able to better argue your point about the show’s low quality. Either way, you will have learned.

Be a Little Silly

Ever had a time where you realized you’ve spent so much time being serious and not enough time enjoying yourself?

Let go. Be a little silly. Crack a stupid joke. Do a ridiculous dance. Smile like the dentist just pumped you full of laughing gas.

You’ll feel better. The people around you will feel better.

The real secret is that you will also be more creative and better at approaching problems from fresh angles. That’s the plus side in a business or even just in your life.

When Coaches Fail Their Personnel

Week 2 of the NFL started with the Thursday showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Prior to the game, there was a lot of nonsense being spewed about how future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning just didn’t look like he had any magic left in him.

During much of the first half of the game, those commentators were proven right.

However, let us be ABUNDANTLY clear about the problem. It had very little to do with Manning and a great deal to do with head coach Gary Kubiak’s offensive scheme.

Apparently Kubiak’s “great idea” has been to force one of the best quarterbacks of all time to play in a brand new system that takes him out of his comfort zone. Manning is not a “throw on the run” guy. He’s a “plant my foot and shoot it into a tight window” guy. One of the best at it.

Once Kubiak relented and allowed Manning to be Manning, the Broncos started coming back, ultimately winning the game 31-24 (in no small part thanks to an excellent defense that kept them in the game and scored the winning touchdown).

Forcing players, team members, employees, et cetera to play directly against their strengths because of over-belief in a system can be quite detrimental. Disastrous, catastrophic. You can bring in new people over time to work within the new system, sure. But having a coach just throw out the playbook on something that is already working extremely well is just plain stupid.

Bring Some Board Games Into Your Life

There has never been a better time to be a fan of board games. From newer games like Pandemic and Ticket to Ride to old fan favorites like Settlers of Catan and Monopoly, board games are on the rise.

It shouldn’t be surprising considering how they are the anti-thesis to our social media infused lifestyles. Board games represent real, face-to-face connections. Actual words are spoken. It’s not just pictures of people’s faces and whatever they want to brag about today.

When so much of our activity is centered around computers, removing ourselves from their gravitational pull to sit around a table and enjoy friendly competition becomes all the more appealing.

You ought to be playing board games.

Relish the real interactions you have. Get in a few fights over the rules. Cheer when you achieve victory. Have a drink and some snacks with friends. You won’t regret coming back time and again to the gaming table.

Today, Compliment Someone

Not someone you compliment everyday. Find a person who usually doesn’t hear much from you and say something nice.

Seriously, do it! It’s worth it. You could turn around an awful day for someone or at least feel good knowing that you tried.

Nothing to lose. Plenty to gain.

Writing Down Memories

Keep a journal. Good and bad times alike, write them down. You will be able to view your past life through the lens of your then-current self. Memories fade, but writing it down can anchor them in some form of truth.

Try writing down just one sentence a day in a notebook. I write multiple things down every single day and it has been one of the most gratifying things I have ever done. Commit to writing down memories to make them forever remembered, including by those who may stumble upon them after you are gone.