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December 21, 2010

You've Got to Be Taught

As one media outlet after another conducts end-of-the-year reviews of the events of 2010—and images of extremists carrying loaded firearms to presidential speeches and children being terrorized by gunfire flash across my television screen—I am struck anew by the prescient words of Oscar Hammerstein in the 1945 musical "South Pacific":

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear
You've got to be taught
From year to year
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
To be afraid
Of people whose eyes
Are oddly made
And people whose skin
Is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people
Your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught


Exciting research data on the Millennial Generation, however, gives me tremendous hope for the future. Perhaps we can all vow to be a little more tolerant, a little more open, and a little more peaceful in the New Year. Happy Holidays to all!

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