Should Society Tell 10-Year-Olds, 'The World Is a Better Place With You in It'?

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times published a photo of what I had reason to believe was an elementary school classroom. I couldn’t help but notice a big, colorful sign in the classroom that read, “The World Is A Better Place With You In It.”

Using an example of it being a fifth-grade classroom, I said to my radio audience that I thought the sign foolish, even stupid.

I consider it a part of the narcissism-inducing trend begun in the 1970s with another foolish idea, the “self-esteem movement,” which was started, it will not come as a shock, in California by a state senator who was, it will not come as a shock, a Democrat. I wrote and said at the time that it would lead to awful consequences.

My reasoning was that self-esteem needs to be earned, that it cannot and should not be given. People walking around with unearned high self-esteem are often a danger to society. This was confirmed by one of the most highly regarded criminologists in the country, professor Roy Baumeister, who has written and who told me on my radio show that murderers possess higher self-esteem than almost any other members of

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