Words we can all live by

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, June 16, 2015

With a net worth in the neighborhood of 80 billion dollars, Bill Gates is hailed as the richest man in the world. Wouldn’t you be if you were lucky enough to be the man behind Microsoft. And it even makes me laugh that he hasn’t turned 60 years old as of yet (that will occur in October of this year).

However, as is often the case, riches can be discovered in words. There’s a wealth of knowledge just waiting for you as you thumb through a book, read a magazine or a newspaper or stumble across a story via the World Wide Web.

It was the latter means of information gathering where I ran across a speech Gates reportedly delivered to a group of high school students. The article did not say whether or not his speech was part of a graduation ceremony. Whatever the case, it sure caught my attention and should be posted at each and every high school across the nation.

In his speech – one entitled “Remember Kids: Life Is Not Instant Rice!” – he talked about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teaching has created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

These are the words of Bill Gates:

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.

Words we can all live by.

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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