Seinfeld and the Defense of Privilege

Do you think people should be ashamed of their privilege?

Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t, and I agree with him. He took some time to defend privilege during his commencement speech at Duke—more on that below.

Privilege used to mean having certain advantages in life like money, connections, or opportunities. Well, technically, it still does mean that.

But in recent years, some have twisted the definition to mean you are born with or without privilege. According to them, privilege is determined by your race, your gender, or who you love. Apparently it’s not about the effort you put in… it’s been reduced to a demographic lottery you won or lost.

Many parents work hard to give their children every advantage in life to succeed. It takes effort, and parents love seeing that they are able to give their children a better life than they had. Maybe you can relate to this.

But now, with the new definition including things that are out of people’s control, some parents have been convinced there is nothing they can do to improve their children’s future. Their child is born a victim of not having privilege, and there is supposedly no way to ever change that.

I strongly believe that’s one of the worst things we can teach our children. Our children all have the power to do amazing things—but not if we saddle them with a victim mentality.

Seinfeld nailed it when he said: “… we’re embarrassed about things we should be proud of and proud of things that we should be embarrassed about.” The Bible warns about a day when good will be called evil, and evil called good. Seems that time has come…

Somehow being a “victim of privilege” has become a badge of honor in today’s society. Disrespecting people you disagree with is something people do with pride. And trying to get someone fired for their differing beliefs? That’s a bragging point now.

Someone needs to inform these young people—for their sakes and for the sake of our society— that they aren’t victims. They have more control over their life than they realize. There are so many opportunities, but it requires taking the initiative and creating your own success!

Seinfeld gave three keys to life. “Number one, bust your [behind]. Number two, pay attention. Number three, fall in love.” It boils down to working hard and enjoying life to the fullest.

In a world where personal responsibility and hard work are dismissed as mere “luck” and “privilege” based on race, gender, and all sorts of other physical attributes… I believe teaching children about the importance of personal responsibility and hard work is key to a successful life.

Once children grasp how much impact they can have on their own future, the sky’s the limit! (Or space, if you ask Elon Musk.)

Taking on this demotivating nonsense is precisely why I decided to write The Tuttle Twins and the 12 Rules Boot Camp, which was inspired by Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. The twins show their Uncle Brock, who is struggling to find his way, how he can take responsibility for his own life. And they have some fun along the way. ????

I’d love to hear how your child has used the 12 rules to make positive changes in his or her life. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, grab it today for some summertime fun and personal growth. Then stand with me and Seinfeld in welcoming and being grateful for our hard-earned privileges!


Want More?

The Tuttle Twins children’s book series is read by hundreds of thousands of families across the country, and nearly a million books (in a dozen languages!) are teaching children like yours about the ideas of a free society.

Textbooks don’t teach this; schools don’t mention it.

It’s up to you—and our books can help. Check out the Tuttle Twins books to see if they’re a fit for your family!