Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some Good Advice Kids (and some adults) Should Wise Up To

Love him or hate him, Bill Gates sure hits the nail on the head with this! He recently gave a speech at a high school about eleven things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically-correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

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 can feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will not make $60,000 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 until you get a boss.

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 thought you were. 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. Some schools 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. Do that on your own time.

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

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

If you can understand these words, thank a teacher! Most of all, thank a veteran for keeping our country free so this can be said without having to die for it.


Anonymous said...

While I'm no fan of Bill Gates (don't trust him at all actually), you do have to give him credit for telling it like it is with this.

I sit here at work, my mind boggling, at how these kids (in their early 30's) have NO's frightening actually.

Tamar said...

Thank you for this post. I found it on a google search for "failure" because I have just written a new book for parents about why (in reasonable doses) it is good for kids! Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility and Happiness.

I think that your title highlights an important point: kids may very well need to "wise up" to the real world, but that will be hard to do if parents (out of their best intentions and biggest fears) don't let their children do so. The process of letting kids deal with their disappointments etc, is often a messy one, I show parents step by step how to do it constructively.

If you want to read an excerpt, you can do so at

Mookie said...

Thank you for your insight. I did a brief overlook of your site, and must say I'm relatively impressed, which is a rarity for a cynic like myself. I will take more time to look over things tomorrow or the weekend, and may be interested in reviewing your books as well.
Thank you again for stopping by my blog.

Mookie said...

Thanks for checking back in. I'll take it as an apology for taking the wind out of my sails on your blog!! LOL
Seriously though, it took me a long time to grow up and figure things out myself. Fundamentally I understood all this, yet chose to lead a life of duality, between my own cynicisms, and my other more idealistic part of my brain (hidden very deep in the far reaches mind you).

I truly believe it was having my own kids that forced me to grow up a lot quicker than I may have otherwise. And having done some of the growing up I need to do (Lord knows I have a LONG ways to go yet), I am amazed at how far out of this universe people can be that are older than me when it comes to reality, despite having lived in it for at least as long.

Maybe they're lucky to be so blissfully ignorant?

Anonymous said...

Believe me Mike, I truly wish sometimes that I could live "blissfully ignorant" as I did most of my life. I'm still growing myself and it amazes me what I've missed along the way just working to survive and live up to what others thought I should be.

Now I live for me and me only! And while that sounds selfish, it has actually opened my eyes to the rest of the world and makes me stop and think more.

I make myself dizzy sometimes bouncing between standing my ground and seeing the whole picture...LOL

Godfather said...

Ummm, I hate to be the spoiler, but Gates never actually said this. The list appeared in a book called Dumbing Down our Kids in 1996.

Of course it doesn't change the fact the words are just a true today...or if Bill had said them.

Don't shoot the messenger...

Mookie said...

Yeah, I've heard a few different versions of the story, this is just the one that has been sent to me in recent history from a fmaily friend. Maybe I should've cropped the first section off, and just went to the meat of it...oh well.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that some version of this has been around for as long as I have, if not longer.

What is important is that the message is the same and oh so true!

Anonymous said...

Good advice. Though I'd add a positive: you are responsible for your life. Don't blame, make excuses, or play the victim. If you take responsibility than you can accomplish anything because that sense of control gives you the drive, motivation, and positive attitude one needs to truly get ahead. Add to that: success is defined by each individual. If you try to live up to someone else's idea of success, you've already stopped living your life and started living for either someone else or what society expects.

Anonymous said...

Very good additions there, Scotterb.

I had a doctor once tell me that it is perfectly alright to play the martyr; you're just not allowed to complain about it later.........I always keep that in mind when I find myself trying to not accept responsibility for my own actions.