All Commentary
Monday, March 1, 1971

So Who Are You, Young Man?


Mr. Chase, in his 93rd year, was for many years vice-president of the Chilton Company and directing editor of its automotive division.

Rebellious Youth with anger burdened,

Cease awhile from protestations.

Halt dissents and demonstrations.

Stop and think.

 

Ponder on the fact that you,

Like all your mentors, first to last,

Are but an echo of the past

And little more.

 

A heritage from Fate, you are

A complex of regeneration,

The old made new through reclamation.

The fruit of salvage.

 

Your growing bones, and flesh, and brain

Were all controlled by DNA

With guiding genes that got away

From predecessors.

 

All you’ve learned was known before you.

All you know is what was taught you

By your elders who have brought you

Where you are.

 

To the stern world of Experience

Where convictions are diluted

And raw knowledge is transmuted

Into wisdom.

 

Where absolutes are stuff for dreams

And almost never are attained

While worthy ends are quickest gained

Through compromise.

 

All you’ve angrily condemned

 All the grievances bewailed

Have persistently prevailed

Throughout the ages.

 

The System or Establishment,

To you, a faceless monster who

Forever stalls long over due

Utopia.

 

Assaying the Establishment,

The seeker for the truth will find

A fair cross-section of

Mankind Like you and me.

 

Just Man with all his weaknesses,

His greed, his fears, his self-concern,

His strivings, with good deeds, to earn

Some commendation.

 

So, Rebel Youth, when you commence

Your crusade for the right and good,

It seems the reformation should

Begin with Man.

 

So may it be.

JULIAN CHASE