Rich man, poor man

Because of the length of time that I have scribbled my thoughts for the Advertiser, I now get ample comments and feedback from readers usually stating their likes, dislikes, or confusions, of the situations that are often forced upon them.

At the moment, my thoughts dwell on the shackles that have been placed on our teachers.

They are in that profession because they enjoy what they know best how to do. But that has changed greatly in the last decade or two. And this can be summed up by some simple comments, stated by Bill Gates, which were sent on to me.

Rich man, poor man, beggar man or thief, love him or hate him, he certainly hits the nail smack dab on the head.

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a high school about 11 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 doesn’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 $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be 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.

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 rainforest from the parasites of your parent’s 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 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 the summer off, and few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. 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.

Though spit from the lips of Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, he snatched the thoughts of the majority clear across the country. Since when have minorities gained the right to rule?

Take care, ’cause we care.


*Editor’s note: Though often attributed to Bill Gates, particularly in widely-circulated emails, this list is one of several pared-down versions of a piece that was actually written by Charles Sykes. It was referenced as part of Sykes’ 2007 book, 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School, though some sources indicate the list was originally published in the San Diego Union-Tribune in 1996.


Barrie Hopkins