Falsely attributed to Bill Gates and posted to the internet in 2003
BILL GATES' SPEECH TO MT. WHITNEY HIGH SCHOOL in Visalia, California.
Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this!
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 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 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.
Whether the above strikes you as a clever, much-needed dose of realism for today’s youth or an unnecessarily vituperative browbeating, one thing you ought to be aware of is that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates neither wrote the words nor delivered them in a speech to high school students or anyone else. As happens with alarming frequency online, a text written by one person came to be falsely attributed to another and due to endless repetition the attribution stuck and became accepted as fact.
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, 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.