We all know that American universities have become places of intense psychological indoctrination. We also know that kids often go into college malleable, immature, and oversensitive, and come out even more malleable, immature, and oversensitive. We all read the stories about college kids constantly having conniption fits whenever confronted with words, opinions, and ideas that upset them. Indeed, only on a modern American college campus could you find actual adults unironically demanding “safe spaces” and the like.
But I think there’s a deeper reason for the epidemic of wimpiness in our universities and in my generation as a whole. I think it stems from the idea that we as individuals are supreme, and as the supreme beings in the universe, our feelings and thoughts should be the primary concern of everyone else. In this view of things — the progressive view — I am the greatest, most important, most special creature in all of creation, and everyone and everything else is secondary. It stands to reason that, as a god among mortals, my emotions ought to be the top priority in the world.
I wrote this to help dispel that notion. There are three hard truths — all centered around this faulty belief — that I attempt to very delicately and diplomatically explain here. But the first and most important is that your feelings aren’t nearly as important as you think. Of all the things a young adult should learn, that might be the most crucial lesson of all: