I have a good friend, but he inevitably manages to perpetuate urban fiction and other tall tales via email forwarding. I know he means well, but he doesn't check his facts before passing things on. Overall, it is somewhat unsettling that this misleading crap actually gets written in the first place (disinformation), but even more so that people actually believe it!
Today, he sent me the recurring, "11 things kids don't learn in high school" supposedly spoken by Bill Gates in a speech to high school students. I immediately googled the topic and quickly found multiple reference on where it came from, that it first aired in 2001, and is nothing but horse shit.
Just go to http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/b/billgatesspeech.htm and see for yourself. And go to http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2002191433_gates27m.html for a report on Gates' "real" speech regarding his view on today's high school education.
Lastly, for my rebuttal (because I never miss a chance to get on my soapbox), see below for the 11 things, and my thoughts in CAPS:
Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!
WE GET IN RETURN WHAT WE PUT OUT INTO THE WORLD, BUT DOING THINGS WITH THE SOLE EXPECTATION OF A RETURN IS HEARTLESS. TREAT OTHERS WITH RESPECT AND ACCEPT WHAT YOU RECEIVE IN RETURN. IF IT IS NOT WHAT YOU DESIRE, IT IS YOUR CHOICE AND FREE WILL AS TO WHETHER OR NOT YOU CONTINUE TO ASSOCIATE WITH THAT INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION.
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.
WHEN YOUR SELF WORTH IS WRAPPED UP IN YOUR NET WORTH, YOU ARE A SLAVE TO MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, AND WILL NEVER BE FREE OR TRULY FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT THE WORLD CARES ABOUT OR EXPECTS.
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.
IF MONETARY ACHIEVEMENT IS YOUR SOLE MEASURE, IT WON’T MATTER HOW MUCH OR LITTLE YOU MAKE, YOU WILL NEVER REALIZE ANY LEVEL OF INSIGHT. BUT WITH CONFIDENCE, FORESIGHT AND RECOGNITION OF OPPORTUNITY, YOU CAN START OUT AS ANYTHING YOU WANT, WITH ANYTHING YOU WANT.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
BOTH YOUR TEACHER AND YOUR BOSS CAN BE MENTORS IF YOU ARE OPEN TO THE THINGS THEY PRESENT NO MATTER HOW THEY PRESENT THEM. REMEMBER THIS: TEACHERS ARE TAUGHT TO TEACH, BUT BOSSES ARE NOT TAUGHT TO BOSS. BTW, I HATE THE WORD BOSS... IT SOUNDS SO LOW BROW, AND REMINISCENT OF CHAIN GANGS, SWEAT SHOPS, COAL MINES AND NON-STIMULATING, MENIAL GRUNT WORK. IF YOU HAVE A "BOSS", YOU DESERVE A "BOSS". IF YOU HAVE CO-WORKERS, YOU WILL SUCCEED.
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
FLIPPING BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE, ANTIBIOTIC, STEROID LACED “FOOD” PATTY AND SERVING IT TO PEOPLE FOR A PROFIT IS WELL BENEATH ANYONE’S DIGNITY. DO NOT ACCEPT THINGS JUST BECAUSE “THAT’S JUST THE WAY THINGS ARE”, EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR AS MANY EARTHLINGS (HUMAN AND OTHERWISE) AS POSSIBLE. REMEMBER, WE DON'T OWN THIS PLANET, WE'RE SHARING IT WITH COUNTLESS OTHER SPECIES AND BEINGS, AND ONLY BORROWING IT FROM FUTURE GENERATIONS.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
MESSING UP IS NOT PROPRIETARY TO OFFSPRING. PARENTING IS AN OBLIGATION WITH FAR REACHING IMPLICATIONS. FAR TOO MANY SPERM AND EGG DONORS, WITH VERY LITTLE WORKING GRAY MATTER BETWEEN THEIR EARS, PERPETUATE THE WORST BEHAVIOR BY BEING BAD EXAMPLES FOR THEIR CHILDREN. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND LEARNING FROM MISTAKES IS CRITICAL IN ANYONE'S PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, BUT NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT POOR PARENTING HAS ON CHILDREN.
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.
YOUR PARENTS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE BY CHOICE, AND IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. IF THEY CHOOSE TO SUBSCRIBE TO A SOCIETY OF OVER-CONSUMPTION AND ACQUISITION OF MATERIAL POSSESSION, AND CHOOSE TO INSTILL THOSE VALUES IN THEIR CHILDREN, THEN THE CLOSET WILL ALWAYS BE CLUTTERED WITH "STUFF" WE DON'T NEED, AND WE WON’T HAVE ANY RAIN FORESTS LEFT TO SAVE.
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’M PRETTY SURE I WAS TAUGHT THAT IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN. HOWEVER, IN SCHOOLS, WE ARE DRILLED ON INDIVIDUAL LEARNING, YET IN THE “REAL WORLD” , WE MUST COLLABORATE WITH WORK GROUPS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS. WE AREN’T TAUGHT HOW TO DO THIS, AND IT’S NO WONDER THE TYPICAL WORK ENVIRONMENT IS WROUGHT WITH BACK-STABBING, POLITICS AND OTHER COUNTER PRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOR. REALLY… THE SAND BOX IS BIG ENOUGH, AND THERE ARE PLENTY OF TOYS TO PLAY WITH. WE JUST NEED TO KEEP THE SAND CLEAN AND TAKE CARE OF THE BOX. ANYONE WHO PISSES IN THE CORNER RUINS IT FOR EVERYONE!
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.
AMERICAN LIFE IS STRUCTURED WITH A MAXIMUM OF TIME SPENT SUPPORTING UNENDING DEBT, AND MINIMUM TIME SPENT ENJOYING THE THINGS AND PLACES THE DEBT SUPPOSEDLY PROVIDED. TAKE A PAGE FROM THE CONCEPT OF EUROPEAN HOLIDAY… TWO MONTHS PER YEAR R&R. SAVVY?
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
UNLESS, OF COURSE, YOU WORK AT OR OWN THE COFFEE SHOP!
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
JUST LIVE BY THE GOLDEN RULE, YES?