Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Preperation for Adversity

The concept of preparation for adversity is merely a dishonest tool.

I have been waiting for an example of this logic to come up so I could write about. It did not take long:

"What is the right learning environment for today's law students...lawyers live in an Alpha Wolf world, and the sooner we prepare our students for that reality, the better."

This argument has one role: to justify asshole behavior throughout the ages. There has not been one stage in my life where some authority figure hasn't said "things aren't this bad now, but since they may be bad later, we have to make them bad now, otherwise you will not be prepared." I remember vividly my elementary school teachers justifying some of what they were doing because "in middle school things are going to be much tougher."

This argument assumes that a person will not be prepared for adversity until they experience adversity, which is not true at all (as I explain here in a different context). In fact, experiencing adversity early may make us less able to face adversity in the future because it may make us disillusioned. In addition, one could argue that if we start with the proposition that the "real world" will be "alpha," we can argue that law school should be "alpha." But since law school should be Alpha, then college has to be too. But if college has to be rough, then high school should be too.

The argument that one has to be "prepared" for adversity is nothing more than an easy justification for people to be assholes to each other.

We should have more confidence in our fellow human beings. Many brave soldiers fought in WWII without being prepared their whole lives for death and carnage. Human beings are built to handle adversity. They don't have to be prepared.

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