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11 Rules of Life - Bill Gates?

I read this on Facebook this morning.  A friend had posted it and said that every child should have to receive this. I of course read it and started to think.  I immediately wondered who really wrote this, as I rarely see things like this attributed to the proper person.  I immediately found it was written by Conservative Charles J. Sykes when he wrote a book about how America is dumbing down our youth.  I read it twice and started to wonder how true it was.  Below is a link to the actual picture I saw.

So let's look at each of the rules and analyze them.

Rule 1: Life is not fair — get used to it! - Life is not fair in that we are not all afforded the same opportunities based on race, creed, color, socio-economic background, but in general, those who are afforded the same opportunities to succeed are very often rewarded for their individual efforts.  Sure there may be underlying circumstances, but hard work is proven to pay more often than not and those who strive for success, might not achieve it in financial rewards, but may very well receive other rewards.  This is not for the 1%.  This is what Occupy Wall Street was all about.  That those, similar to Bill Gates, have lost their value system and to us, life is unfair.

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. - This is completely false.  Self worth comes across in everything we do. When you sit down on your first job interview, it's your view of yourself that the interviewer is seeing.  I have personally never sat down for an interview thinking someone else in that waiting room is better than me.  I always walk in saying the job is mine.  More times than not, if I want the job, I get it.  Sure, if I don't have credentials required I don't, but on an even playing field, those with a higher regard for themselves get the job.  

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. - This is true, but then again the number of high schoolers who are making money from self employment now is probably growing at a rapid rate.  That being said, there are some pipe dreams better left at the door.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. - There was a time, when this simply wasn't true.  Kids today are coddled in school.  The level of intelligence, patience and simple desire in today's educational world is pathetic.  When I was in grade school, there were rules and when disobeyed, the price was paid.  As a youth we test those rules.  As an adult, we are supposed to know them and adhere by them.  If your boss is too tough, it's either because he expects more from you or is a prick.  Either way, you know this by now, so how tough is it?

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping — they called it opportunity. - The level of your job will be associated with many varying aspects of your life.  Sure if you are right out of high school a job is a job.  If you've been in corporate America or you have a PhD, then burger flipping might be beneath your qualifications.  If flipping a burger is something you excel at and can make a decent living at, then maybe it's your path, but don't settle for doing it at McDonald's.  Most chefs start out peeling potatoes and making salads, see rule 3!

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them. - Most people who are stupid, arrogant, narcissistic, racist, ignorant are this way because their parents were.  People who cry every time the chips are down, learned that response. We are born with two innate fears, that of falling and loud noises.  All our other fears are learned, usually from our parents.  If we are taught that we never win or never lose, it's our parent's fault.  Learning from our mistakes is taught to us by our parents.  Those that whine, weren't taught well enough or have abandon what we were taught.  At times, we're all guilty, but in today's world, the lack of proper parenting is enormous.  So yes, many times, it is our parent's fault.

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 are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room. - I never thought my parents were boring.  I learned half of what I know from sitting in on dinner parties and family conversations. Listening to friends tell tales of travel and of different cultures.  My parents were the most exciting people I knew and they still are.  Parents who have given up on that, do so because they have given in to societies, stereotypes.  I knew more about wine at 11 living with them struggling to get buy than I do living on my own.  I would argue it's our generation that became complacent and boring.  We now see Facebook and twitter and think we are living, while our boring parents are going to the museum and the opera.  We need to forget about delousing our closets and try cleaning our mirrors.

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. - I agree with this wholeheartedly.  Winning and losing taught us lessons that made us stronger.  I think where it went wrong from my generation was the winners were always put together and the losers put together and because of that we formed into separate groups.  I think the reverse has happened and instead of  a slight few feeling entitled, we are harvesting a entire society that feels entitled.  Sadly, I disagree with it not resembling real life.  We have accepted mediocrity in everything.  Food isn't as good, people aren't doing their jobs, things aren't built to last.   Why are the things that were great a hundred years ago still great, but nobody can make a pizza, deliver a service and houses can't outlast storms?

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. - Life's path takes many of us on a roller coaster ride.  Whether it's a semester or more is your choice, but at times, it can easily be sectioned.  I'm forty.  My youth was until I was 13.  My rebellious years were until I was 22.  My settling down and getting serious years were until I was 27.  My caring for others because it was my duty and I owed it to them was until I was 33.  My finding myself is going on right now.  So this is true, and while an employer doesn't care about helping me find myself, I need to and maybe I will through my next job.  Life is divided into much more than semesters and you'd be surprised how many adults my age have summers off.
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. - Walk into a Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or local coffee shop on your next day off and tell me that this isn't exactly what real life has become. When the average person sounds more like Snooki than Bill Gates, television has become real life.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one. - Go to most conglomerates, most chain's master offices or to a local small business.  The VP might be a nerd.  The head of HR might be a nerd.  The person who hires you might be a nerd.  Chances are though, that the person who started the company.  The person who truly runs the company.  The person who will be the name on your paycheck is an alpha male or female.  I can't think of one job I've ever had where the owner, not the manager, the owner, wasn't an alpha male or female.  Their is a reason they call them power suits and nerds don't pull off power suits.

Now don't get me wrong.  The message this man was sending is a positive one.  It's one to tell kids to grab the bull by the horns and don't make excuses for failure.  The reality is that many times it is our parents, our education or society that has failed us.  It is this false sense that being aggressive is a negative.  That losing is a negative.   The entire statement is somewhat ironic, because it puts so many labels on us and that is the true ruining of America. Parents and educators warned against putting their kids on drugs to help with disorders, because they would be labeled.  Then put their kids on drugs because they found out they got more time to take tests.  It's an awful world out there and the more honest we are with everyone the better we become.  We live in a world where out leaders and CEOs lie every day.  I'm sure Bill Gates is a wonderful person. I remember when he donated millions of dollars to schools and told kids they were all winners.  He didn't include the software, which the schools then went out and bought.  He made tens of millions and maybe the kids got to use the computers, maybe they didn't.  Some won, some didn't.  Bill Gates might look like a nerd, but he's an alpha, because he has power and money.  He's also a lot smarter than most.  Don't be fooled by appearances.  Remember, David beat Goliath.  Thus becoming the alpha.


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