This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Commencement Speech II

A few days ago I mentioned my commencement address and that more would be coming. Today is the time for that. Here is what I hoped people would pay most attention to (and many clearly did):
Here’s my number 1 lesson in life—the more you give, the more you get. I didn’t grow up knowing this, but I learned this lesson from my wife (who is my high school sweetheart and marrying her is the most important thing that ever happened to me), and from her lifelong friend (an SDSU alum, by the way) who has based her life on her grandmother’s simple premise: cast your bread upon the waters and it will come back sandwiches. The more you do for others, the richer your life will be.
But, in fact, I think I got more comments on this "lesson":
You may know the old Zen saying that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. What is also true is that teachers sometimes come in unexpected packages. For example, I love my dog and I find that I learn important things about life from him, reminding me of what the writers Matt Weinstein and Luke Barber think you would learn if a dog were your teacher. We would learn to be a better, happier person if:

1. When loved ones come home, you always run to greet them;
2. Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do;
3. Delight in the simple joys of a long walk; and
4. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it, wherever that leads you.

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