Something Every Teenager Should Know

Today I Have It All - But Tomorrow?

Today most children, and in particular teenagers, live in an insular world where they expect everything handed to them on a plate. Life for them is a free ride, with little or no responsibilities, and no requirement for commitment. Despite this, many still find it necessary to complain, but the reason is they have no idea what real life is all about. As youngsters they have little concept of the meaning of life, what is expected of them, and more importantly, what it can cost.

Sadly, the blame for this attitude must be born by both parents and the education system which have failed miserably in preparing today’s youth for the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult.

The Very Young Bill Gates

It was for this reason that I decided to make a blog of an interesting speech made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to a group of high-school children in the USA. It came to me through the e-mail from a good friend, and I found it so enlightening that I decided it needed to be shared as widely as possible.

During his talk he emphasised the way ‘political correctness’ and the ‘feel good’ factor has obliterated the previous ideology of preparing school-leavers for the big bad world they are about to enter.

It is no longer acknowledged within the education system that some children are brighter or more talented than others, because to recognise this denigrates the less gifted. To fail an exam today you need to be a monkey swinging through the treetops, because the school has to hit its targets set by the government.

All this, added to the parents giving their children everything they want when they want it, has led to a generation of free-loaders who will soon enter the real world and expect it to hand them a job and huge salary because they feel they are owed it by society.

Bill Gates: A Success Story

Whether you like, admire, or hate Bill Gates, he has never been afraid to speak his mind, and in the talk he had with the young people at the high-school he pulled no punches. He told them all what they needed to hear.

These are the main points he hammered home to them:

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 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.

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 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 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 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.

Teen Charter?

These truths, for that is what they are, must have come as a great shock to many of those listening to him, but hopefully, it will have opened a few eyes to what life is like in the real world after school. It is hard, it can be painful, but we must each handle it in our own way. Those that learn quickly will succeed, those that do not will ultimately fail.

You would be doing your child a great favour by teaching them Bill Gates’ philosophy of life.

Roy.

My thanks to my friend for passing this on, and to the anonymous originator of the mail.


2 Responses to “Something Every Teenager Should Know”

  1. Florina Says:

    It is not the child’s fault that he behaves like a prat, but parents because they don’t teach their children what it is like to work hard. I like bill Gates rules, but I also think that he is old enough now to realize his own achievements and therefore it is easier to give advice now because he knows that he himself had to live through tough times before he became an accomplished man. Anyway, but you are right kids these days don’t seem to appreciate the things that are given, but I think it is because most of them are just not taught that. This blog has opened my eyes and I think that no matter how hard I think I work, there is always one that works harder

    Like

    • Thank you for your comment Florina. You are correct that it is the fault mainly of the parents who, along with the schools, do nothing to prepare their offspring for adult life. I refer you also to my previous blog (26/6) “Are You Doing Your Best for Your Child?”.

      Like

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