Interesting E-mail

I keep getting an e-mail that my friends always ask me to share with my kids. I’m still not sure why everyone seems to think my kids need to hear this stuff (I guess I’m in denial) but I have shown it to my older daughter and son.

Anyway,in this particular e-mail the information contained in it is attributed to Bill Gates. When I checked the urban legends site however I found that:

‘The text itself a pared-down version of an op-ed piece that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune on September 19, 1996. It was written by Charles J, Sykes, best known as the author of "Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves, but Can’t Read, Write, or Add."  Drastically edited by person(s) unknown, it began making the email rounds under Bill Gates’ name in February 2000 and is still, as of this writing in 2005, far more often attributed to Gates than to Sykes — which is unfortunate, but, like the man said: Life isn’t fair; get used to it.’

Below is a copy of the text/e-mail. I think it’s worth sharing.


To anyone with kids of any age, here’s some advice. 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 won’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 parent’s 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 think 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.

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.

7 thoughts on “Interesting E-mail

  1. It bugs me that the same adults who make these kids waste 13 years in these schools also stand there and make fun of the kids because they don’t know this stuff. Doesn’t really seem fair, does it? If schools are so useless at teaching kids how to manage life, shouldn’t we find some other way to educate our young?


  2. I heart Snopes.
    Entitlement is such a problem with the most recent generations, including my own. It’s tough to address these issues when I’m plagued with some of the same myself. I try.


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