Quantcast

Advice to graduates: Pursue a Ph.D. in common sense

MARC H. MORIAL | 7/8/2018, 12:50 a.m.
“Education must not simply teach work. It must teach life.” – W.E.B. DuBois

Finally, America respects economic power and political power. Now that you have a college degree, it’s time for you to build your assets. Building assets means investing in things that appreciate in value. Yes, you need a car but even the fanciest car doesn’t appreciate in value. Fancy handbags and fancy shoes don’t appreciate in value. Glam and glitter do not appreciate in value. Real estate does. Stock portfolios do. I know many of you are saddled with student loan debt. But don’t ever think any dime you invested in yourself was a dime wasted. If it is within your vision for yourself and the skill set that God has given you, build a business. Hire more people. Grow that business and sell that business and build a new business. Economic power is what we need.

This nation understands political power. We shirk our duty and our responsibility when an election comes and we don’t vote. We surrender our power to others when an election comes and we don’t vote. We need to send a message to the people who lead this country that we do not want a divided America. We do not want an America of walls; we want an America of bridges. We do not want an America of hate; we want an America of cooperation and an America of love. We want an America where everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, orientation, or national origin is respected and honored as one of God’s children. That’s the America we want.

Of all the honors I’ve been humbled to receive in my life, and all the things I’ve learned from attending great institutions, the most important degree I got is the Ph.D. in common sense I got from my mama. It came from these four lessons: Remember from whence you came. Pursue excellence. Racism is real but will not defeat us. And America respects economic power and political power, and while we do not worship it, we will build it each and every day of our lives.

Congratulations to the class of 2018!

Marc H. Morial, former mayor of New Orleans, is president and CEO of the National Urban League. He can be reached through http://nul.iam empowered.com.