Michael Matteo: All I thought I needed to know I learned in college from a left-wing professor

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Thirty-Five years ago the best-selling book: All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum was published.  It was a delightful collection of essays that focused on the basics of living a good life by keeping things simple, and that many of the lessons that lead to success were lessons learned at a very young age.  Its homespun pearls of wisdom made people realize that life doesn’t need to be overcomplicated or stressful for it to be productive.  Here are some of the quotes that made it a best seller:

“You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.”

“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do.”

“Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory.”

In his initial essay for the book, he also posted a list of 16 things that he learned in kindergarten that included some of the following things:

  1. Play fair.
  3. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  4. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Most of what Mr. Fulghum wrote involved self-respect as well as respecting others.  His essays were informative, uplifting and positive.  They elicited warm feelings within the many people who read them.  Sadly, as time passed much of the sage advice that he delivered has either been forgotten or ignored.  The lessons learned in kindergarten have been replaced for the millennials, Gen X’s and Y’s with lessons taught by liberal college professors at universities throughout the nation and the message is far less constructive than what Fulghum wrote.  Their lessons revolve around selfishness, intolerance, censorship, victimization and the teaching of unproven theories as fact.

If a book about how to live one’s life were written today, it might be titled: All I Thought I Needed to Know I Learned in College (from left wing college professors) and this would be a potential list of what the youth of America is being taught today, which explains why there are so many issues that have made it the Divided States of America.

  1. “Celebrate” things that you believe are traumatic and make sure you learn the art of blaming others for your own shortcomings because there is always someone else or some system you can blame when you fail.”
  2. Redefine vocabulary when you can’t win an argument, and if that doesn’t work create new words and insist that others use them, or label those who refuse to use them as “intolerant.”
  3. Feelings are more important than facts.
  4. Capitalism is bad/Marxism is good.
  5. Label people whose views you don’t like. Call them racists, misogynists, transphobic etc. and if they should deny the label you place upon them, it means they are what you say they are because protestations are indictments and accusations are social death sentences.
  6. Every injustice is caused by white supremacism, white privilege and Caucasian people must be taught to feel guilty about their race as early as possible because the only way to fight racism is to be racist.
  7. If someone says something you don’t like, head to your nearest safe room, and mobilize others to censor that person or get them fired.
  8. There are only 2 groups in the world: oppressors and those they oppress.
  9. If history doesn’t suit your agenda, rewrite it to make it suit your agenda.
  10. Toxic masculinity must be replaced by gender fluidity.
  11. The nuclear family, math, good grammar, high SAT scores, showing up on time etc. are all racist aspects of a racist society.
  12. There is no room for dissenting opinions and all actions that should lead to cancellation are solely dependent on the cancellation candidate’s political leanings.
  13. A college education is a right and should be paid for by others (taxpayers), regardless of how long it takes or that the major has no practical applications in the real world.
  14. The norm is fluid and if you believe something to be true, your truth must be accepted by everyone.
  15. Silence is violence, even if what you say makes absolutely no sense and is based on illogical assertions.
  16. Identifying as a victim gives people a sense of purpose.
  17. Freedom of speech and expression only applies to burning the flag and other acts of disrespect towards the country, but it’s okay to censor words like, mother, father, breastfeeding because there are “better” inclusive terms for these words.
  18. It is prejudiced to make generalizations about entire groups of people, unless those people are white as in the case made for all whites having white privilege.
  19. You aren’t truly educated until you have read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo or attended a lecture by Ibram Kendi or accepted the teachings of the 1619 Project/Critical Race Theory.

America can only be as good as the sentiments that leads to a nationwide philosophy and when this philosophy revolves around negativity and is based in illogical assertions and polarization nothing good can come from it.  Garbage in-Garbage out, and much of what is being spewed in classrooms around the country is exactly that, GARBAGE!   A bright future is contingent upon a society of well-educated critical thinkers, not on people who must rely on speech codes, safe rooms and the parroting of ideas that they are incapable of defending in a debate.

Perhaps we should all take a page from Fulghum’s book (literally) and realize that what is being taught in so-called institutions of “higher learning” does not compare with the lessons we did learn in kindergarten before unfounded radical ideas polluted classrooms if we want to truly improve the quality of life in America and continue to be a nation that is recognized as a world leader.


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Michael Matteo


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