I was down in Dallas doing my speech at the Liberty Mastermind Symposium. It was only a two day affair and I had to fly back to South Dakota to retrieve my motorcycle and drive it back to Minnesota. So early the next morn, after the symposium was done, I checked out of my hotel and started to make my way to my Mustang GT 5.0 rental, until I saw Damian, a young attended in the atrium.
He looked like he was waiting for the shuttle and so I asked, “Are you heading to the airport?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Want a ride?”
Preferring a sooner and more convenient ride he said, “Sure!”
So off we went for the 10 minute drive to the airport. I learned Damian was a 23 year old kid, ahead of his peers in terms of economics if he was attending an economics seminar, but he was also an author. I didn't dismiss him because he was sincere and earnest about writing, but in my mind I was saying, “Great, another kid with no worldly experience is going to churn out what he thinks is going to be a great book. Maybe another 10 years in the real world and he'll cut his teeth and increase his writing skills.”
That being said he did have a book and he was curious about how to go about getting it marketed. I told him to NEVER go the traditional publishing route and that the best option for a young, unknown man like him was to pitch it through various blogs and social media. He thanked me for the advice and asked if I'd read his book if he ever mailed me a copy.
“Sure!” I said, completely predispositioned to read another directionless rambling of another 20 something.
I was completely wrong
I just finished “The Onus of Man” on the flight to Florida and I was amazed. Not so much with the plot, the character development, or the “Gotcha” at the end (which I DID predict, Damian!), but the SUPERB quality of writing, especially coming from such a young man. I was also flabbergasted by the structure of the book and the plot (which switches between a young man's life memories and his pursuit to go dig up his treasure he had buried out in the wilderness – it will throw you off at first, but after three chapters you'll see how it flows). It was well organized, made sense, and the “gotcha” is just killer, and quite bold I might say for such a young author.
IN short “The Onus ofMan” is the fiction version of “Worthless.” It follows a young man from roughly the age of 14 through the first few years of college and addresses, from a first person narrative, the experiences, thoughts, and challenges the average American high school/college student faces today. Because it is fiction, it is more entertaining that “Worthless” as well as more personable as you familiarize yourself with the various characters (Aunt Malorie is somebody you love to hate and see die). Also, it paints a personal face on the education bubble, rather than mine and others' dry and academic non-fiction accounts. You see the personal pain young kids are going through, the confusion, and the helplessness/hopelessness of being indebted to such a great amount. You also see just how much havoc and ruin worthless degrees can cause and just what a despicable vile system “big education” has come.
The are drawbacks of course. My primary complaint being it reads too much as a familial memoir, with stories being too long, dragged out, and irrelevant to the primary plot (though this is of course to paint the picture of a “normal” life for the hero). It is also a tad verbose with words that even I don't want to look up on account that I am lazy and have too low of an IQ to understand such words.
Regardless, “The Onus of Man”is incredibly timely and written by some one who has recently gone through the scam known as “college” and thus can relate on a personal level to the people who would benefit most from it – high school and college students. So if you want to warn your kids about the risks of a worthless degree, but don't want to bore them with charts, data and screeds, I highly recommend “The Onus of Man.”