Friday, July 21, 2006

Rules for Life

There’s an email floating around the web about a speech by Bill Gates to Visalia, CA high school students. The email consists of a list of rules that they did not and will not learn in schools. Though Gates is not the source, the rules are great.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone, until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. You have to do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one

The real list included three more rules that are not being circulated. From Snopes these are:

Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

Rule 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.

You're welcome.

This list is the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add.

I borrowed the book from our fantastic library (www.pvld.org) but could not find the list. Snopes says it has appeared in newspapers under Sykes name (and on the internet but attributed to Gates).



2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought provoking and entertaining. Thank for doing the research on this one, Bill.

Dori

9:26 AM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

I've had that list on our kitchen bulletin board for several years and I love it. I hadn't heard the latest rumor about it being attributed to Bill Gates... where do people come up with this stuff?

2:43 PM  

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