BREAKING DOWN WALLS: This Will Kick Whiners Into Action Against Adversity

Written by Chuck Gruenwald on August 29, 2015

At random times throughout my life, I wonder just how different I would be or how I would perceive the world if I had been born somewhere else. For the first time however, I transposed this recurring thought onto someone else.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a graduation ceremony at the University of Nebraska. Since this was the first time that I had attended a graduation, this was my first opportunity to actually see the expressions of accomplishment that college graduates proudly wear.

As I watched the graduates accept their diplomas, I realized that what those kids, plus one seventy-four year-old, had gone through to reach that stage was their “normal;” a world that children in sub-standard big city school systems, such as New York, Chicago, and even Milwaukee are not being prepared to enter. Sadly, those children are fed a non-existent education in order to enter a world where they will do little more than exist.

When I was younger, my mom had told me that her mother had an eighth grade education. And after seeing her circa 1920 homework, I realized that an eighth grade education from the early twentieth century was beyond my 1980s high school education.

As the United States progressed through the twentieth century, the public education system devolved, leaving future generations to pay the price. While the kids who attend community colleges or universities believe that an advanced education will help them find opportunities, they still face the threat of having their assumed education replaced with indoctrination. Unfortunately, the student loans are no cheaper for four years of indoctrination degrees that have no real world counterpart job-wise.

Yes, circumstances change, and people change. There is no guarantee that all of those college graduates will continue in the direction that they are headed. And, there is no guarantee that the children who are pushed through failed public schools will remain as hopeless as they had been taught to be. We are all different. Therefore, we all have different levels of comprehension of the limits of our free will.

Even individuals who are raised together in similar surroundings are subject to their understanding – or abuse – of their free will.

When I was in a high school law enforcement class, one of the instructors, who also worked as a police , talked about a childhood friend of his who had gone to prison at a young age. While visiting his incarcerated friend one day, the police asked him how he was doing. His friend replied that the cell walls never change.

The instructor, who was in his early forties when I was attending his class, had said that in the twenty-plus years that his friend had been in prison, he, the police officer/ instructor, had been hired by a police department, gotten married, started a family, been on two cruises, and then he named other activities that many of us take for granted.

As individuals, we are all the sum of our individual knowledge, how we amass more knowledge, and how we use, or neglect it. Individual knowledge in the free world has infinitely more potential than knowledge that is rotting in a prison cell.

While being born in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as present-day Chicago, could serve as a portal to failure, such a disadvantage could also double as a rebel’s playground.

Deliberately failing public schools and crime-ridden neighborhoods are places where self-serving politicians and bureaucrats expect children and their parents to remain helpless and subservient to a failed political system. But, such places could also be where children will not accept the artificial boundaries that are designed to confine their free will, and will therefore encourage them to succeed, thereby proving their self-appointed leaders wrong regarding the concept of perpetual helplessness. Or, as I had recently heard on Fox News Channel’s The Five, “nothing scares a white liberal more than a black conservative.”

If any of those recent graduates that I had seen rewarded for their hard work and sacrifice had been born under different circumstances, could they have overcome the obstacles that are forced onto students who must endure failed schools?

We all must do our best to utilize the gifts that we have been blessed with. We must also do our best to help those who are being prepped for failure, by helping them overcome the restrictions placed on their God-given gifts by politicians and bureaucrats who seek public office as a result of their inability to survive in the real world.


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Born in Chicago and raised in northwest suburban Cook County, Chuck Gruenwald developed an unfavorable opinion of machine politics quite early in life. In addition to cars, electronics, law enforcement, and politics, Chuck enjoys writing, and is also a horse racing fan. He has recently written op-eds for