Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rules of life

[The thoughts expressed below have been attributed to an address by Bill Gates to high school students, and to others, but they actually originated in a piece by Charles Sykes that appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune on September 19, 1996. Might be some good advice here for your young'uns.] 
  1. Life is not fair - get used to it!
  2. The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. 
  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. 
  4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. 
  5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity. 
  6. If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault; so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them. 
  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. 
  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. 
  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. 
  10. Television and video games are not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. 
  11. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.


  1. Geezer, you're one of my favs, but I hate this damn list. Here's a response I wrote to it a few years ago. Doug (Geezer) Johnson


  2. Good to have another perspective, Doug. Thanks. How about this one, published in today's Toronto Star? http://tinyurl.com/879uc75

  3. Thanks for the link. I liked this one better!