Students win Ben Stein’s advice

Ben Stein went against the golden rule Wednesday night, sarcastically advising students that they should treat poorly the people who are good to them.

His satirical “The Ways to Ruin Your Life” list highlights human flaws and embellishes them. Stein used this list to show students how to make something of their lives and be grateful for what they have.

Many found Stein’s lecture both entertaining and educational. The audience enjoyed his sarcasm, laughing and applauding when they could best relate to a topic — like family.

“Ignore your family,” Stein said. “Your parents don’t care about you. Yes, they may have taken care of you, given birth to you, supported you, changed your diapers, paid for college, pay your rent, but they don’t really care about you. Any person you see in line ahead of you at Costco or Wal-Mart cares about you as much as them.”

The lecture, however, had a deeper message: Students should appreciate and be thankful for everything in life.

“I make gratitude lists all the time. I got into the car to see my aunt, and drove over this beautiful bridge and looked out over to see the water and realized once again I was in America,” Stein said. “I got out of the car when I got over the bridge and to my aunt’s house, and got down on my feet and thanked God again.”

Wednesday night’s lecture took place in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom. About 400 students and 150 people from the public attended the event.

“We didn’t have to turn anyone away, because we changed the tickets,” said ULS Student Director Tim Repass. “This time we made sure we knew how many seats we had and how many tickets we had exactly.”

Stein spoke briefly about the presidential election, explaining that although he is a Republican, he was excited about Barack Obama becoming the president-elect. Some students were able to relate to this feeling.

“I feel like I’m almost in his shoes. I voted for (Obama) and that goes against everything I’ve traditionally believed in in my family. It was neat to see such prominent people are feeling the same way,” said Adam Lytle, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering.

Stein is well-known for his role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and as a spokesman for Clear eyes. He is an attorney, social activist, public speaker, author, journalist and former game show host of Win Ben Stein’s Money.