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Jewish World Review Jan. 2, 2004/ 8 Teves, 5764

Larry Elder

Larry Elder
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Resolutions for success — don't tell those who wish to remain pathetic

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Victicrat (vik'ti krat) n. (victim + -crat) 1) a supporter of the mentality believing in perpetual victimhood, who blames his or her plight on other person(s), event(s), or circumstance(s); one who refuses to accept personal responsibility for one's own actions.

Victicrats blame "outside forces" for their "plight" while rejecting the proposition that nothing succeeds like hard work. Victicrats take comfort in placing the burden of failure or lack of effort on others, rather than looking to themselves, digging in, working hard, and fighting back.

Consider yourself blessed if you, like myself, grew up with parents who taught personal responsibility through leading by both word and deed. Yet lacking an in-home role model or role models — my father grew up as an out-of-wedlock only child — does not necessarily determine one's fate or destiny. Sometimes one must become one's own role model, a responsibility made easier by following this prescription, originally printed in my first book, "The Ten Things You Can't Say in America":

Personal Pledge 32

1. There is no excuse for lack of effort.

2. Although I may be unhappy with my circumstances, and although racism and sexism and other "isms" exist, I know that things are better now than ever, and the future is even brighter.

3. While I may be unhappy with my circumstances, I have the power to change and improve my life. I refuse to be a victim.

4. Others may have been blessed with more money, better connections, a better home environment, and even better looks, but I can succeed through hard work, perseverance, and education.

5. I may be a product of a single- or no-parent household, but I will not hold anyone responsible for my present, or allow anyone to interfere with my future. Others succeed under conditions far worse than mine.

6. Some schools and teachers are better than others, but my level of effort, dedication, curiosity, and willingness to grow determine what I learn.


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7. Ambition is the key to growth.

8. I will set apart some time each day to think about where I want to go, and how I intend to get there. A goal without a plan is just a wish.

9. "Luck" is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

10. If suitable role models are not nearby, I will seek them out.

11. A role model is someone who, through hard work and a positive outlook, has achieved.

12. A role model may be a parent, relative, friend, church member, judge, doctor, attorney, businessperson, or someone I've read about in the newspaper or seen on the local news.

13. I will contact role models and seek their advice, guidance, and counsel. People remember when they were my age and are eager to help.

14. I will seek out recommended magazines, articles, books, biographies, videos, and motivational and how-to books, and use them for education and motivation.

15. The light is always green. You cannot go full speed with one foot on the brake.

16. I am always "in school," and I will not waste my summer by failing to read about and speak to people who can inspire me.

17. I will avoid friendship with people who do not share my goals and commitments. Non-supportive relationships waste time and energy.

18. I will not seek immediate results, as I understand life is a journey and not a destination.

19. I will read a newspaper each day.

20. I will entertain myself in ways that challenge and expand my mind. As someone said, a mind once expanded never returns to its original size.

21. I will pay attention to my diet and overall fitness, as they are the keys to a healthy and productive body and an enthusiastic mind.

22. Drugs are stupid. People who believe in drugs don't believe in themselves.

23. I understand that jobs of the future require more preparation and training than ever, and I am determined to obtain the necessary background.

24. A well-rounded, competent student studies math and science.

25. People are not born "deficient in mathematical ability." Through hard work and dedication, the subject can be mastered.

26. It is essential that I learn to speak and write standard English. This is not "acting white," but acting smart.

27. A strong vocabulary is the key to communication, and I will read books on vocabulary enrichment.

28. I expect sometimes to be teased, even ridiculed. This will not stop me; it will only make me stronger and more determined.

29. I control my body and will not create a child until I am spiritually, psychologically, educationally, and financially capable of assuming this awesome responsibility.

30. Life is difficult. I expect setbacks and will learn from them. Struggle creates strength.

31. Every day is precious, and one without growth is squandered.

32. There is only one me, and I'm it!

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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