Ben Stein Says Thank Your Parents

Hannah Masius ’10 sends over this Father’s Day piece by Ben Stein from the New York Times about acknowledging how hard your parents have probably worked if you live a decently comfortable lifestyle- chances are the people who raised you have given at least some kind of support:

“O, brilliant kids, you get to put on the garments of the morally righteous and upstanding while your parents work… O, golden children, you get to talk about how you’ll never ‘sell out,’ and meanwhile your parents stay up late in torment, thinking of how they can pay your tuition. Because, brilliant kids, work (business) involves exhaustion and eating humble pie and going on even when you think you can’t. And you are the beneficiaries of it in your gilded youth.

“Be smarter than Ben Stein ever was. Be a better person than I ever was. Right now, today, thank your parents for working to support you. Don’t act as if it’s the divine right of students. Get right up in their faces and say, ‘Thank you for what you do so I can live like this.’ Say something…

“Get it in your heads that if you throw away your moral duties to your parents, you are thieves. You were born on third base and your parents put you there, and you think you hit a triple. It’s not true. It’s time to give back.

“ `Attention must be paid,’ as Arthur Miller said. So start now, and make it a habit to be grateful to your parents. Say you’re grateful and mean it. Do it now, however young or old you are. Do it on Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, every day.”

NYTimes: When You Weren’t Looking, They Were Working

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10 thoughts on “Ben Stein Says Thank Your Parents

  1. Anonymous

    i agree with this article. i don’t know, maybe everyone else at wesleyan sends their parents regular thank you notes, but i at least should let my parents know more often how grateful i am to them. also, 12:25, he’s not saying that we should stop taking moral stands, he’s simply saying that while we are lucky enough to have the time and privilege to do so (in college), we should recognize that many of us have our parents, not ourselves, to thank for that privilege.

  2. Anonymous

    i agree with this article. i don’t know, maybe everyone else at wesleyan sends their parents regular thank you notes, but i at least should let my parents know more often how grateful i am to them.
    also, 12:25, he’s not saying that we should stop taking moral stands, he’s simply saying that while we are lucky enough to have the time and privilege to do so (in college), we should recognize that many of us have our parents, not ourselves, to thank for that privilege.

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting fact: I went to high school with Ben Stein’s son, Tom. He got kicked out midway through senior year.

  4. Anonymous

    Interesting fact: I went to high school with Ben Stein’s son, Tom. He got kicked out midway through senior year.

  5. Anonymous

    your ellipsis left this part out:”I picture our kids bravely taking moral stands on global warming and the polar bears, refusing to “sell out,” get a job or learn anything useful.”there’s some conservative slippery-slopeage going on there if i’ve ever seen it.

  6. Anonymous

    your ellipsis left this part out:

    “I picture our kids bravely taking moral stands on global warming and the polar bears, refusing to “sell out,” get a job or learn anything useful.”

    there’s some conservative slippery-slopeage going on there if i’ve ever seen it.

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