A Little Wisdom from Professor Stein at the Stainton's Society
Ben Stein was Keynote speaker for the Shore Memorial
Stainton's Society Fundraiser held at the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ. After a
fabulous brunch and recognition of the generous donors to the hospital, we were
treated to sage advice from Ben Stein.
Stein laughed about the Chinese Proverb: "May you live in
interesting times!" N'est ce pas? How true! 911, fear, oil prices, worst
recession, decline in education, collapse, inflation, stagflation...
Stein remembers growing up in a world of racism, sexism,
segregation and how far we have advanced. Women could never have gotten as far
as they have years ago. He remembered forced segregation such as drinking
fountains and schools.
Advice from his book, "How to Ruin Your Life" was very
funny. Some thoughts:
"Develop no skills, no self-discipline, do no home work, eat
whatever you want, don't exercise, think you are the center of the universe,
accept no responsibility, criticize often, never be grateful, envy everyone. Cultivate
anger, think you are the source of all wisdom, date someone with intense
personal problems and think you can change them, drink all you want, don't
save, borrow and don't pay it back, don't live within your means, be a
perfectionist, have grandiose plans, don't enjoy the simple things, treat your
Stein talked poignantly about his parents and how he took
time in their latter years visiting and listening to them. He said his parents
were always there for him. Even though his father was a busy man, it was his
son who was calling and he would do anything for him.
A renowned economist, Stein seems to like collecting houses.
In one of his neighborhoods the Bentleys are the VWs of the
neighborhood. He remembers when he was
told one his houses was in foreclosure because of lack of payment. Ben had the
cancelled check, but the bank employee insisted that that was his problem, the
check was cancelled!
Once a book store employee did not know what fiction was! He
also remembers his college age students at UC Santa Cruz who could not figure
out how old he was when he told them what year he was born. They did not know
the President at the time of his birth and did not know who we were at war
with. He gave statistics on how America's student standards are at an all time
Stein wrote a book "The Real Stars: In Today's America, the
Real Heroes." He said, "The real stars in our country are our military,
firemen, policemen, prison guards, teachers, doctors and nurses." He believes
in "kindness, hard work, integrity and gratitude." More advice-"You can't win
if you are not at the table. Ask for what you want. Honor your father and
mother and be a great son or daughter."
Stein's wife has not been well enough to travel, but he was
sure to tell a joke she insisted he tell, that at least his mistress was better
looking than his partners! He also noted his friends call him Benji!
Stein is an economist, attorney, author, actor, speech
writer, commentator on CBS Sunday morning, and on days like today a great
comedian too! It was an honor to learn from one of those who is so perceptive
to the state of the world and the ways to be a success. He said, "People will
not remember what you say, they will remember how you made them feel!" Mr.
Stein made me feel proud to be an American and grateful to live in the best
nation in the world!
Pictured left - Flora
Baker, major donor to the hospital. The new atrium will be named for Flora and Ben
Jennifer Palermo with brother Joel Mott and mother Mildred Mott