Break the Chain Where have you been,
Billy Boy, Billy Boy?

Created 4/5/2001 (4/5/2001) It's sad that we, as a society, think that even the best advice could be better if it came from a well-know source. America's most famous (and wealthiest) nerd, supposedly gave this no-nonsense advice for life at a high school gathering.

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Love him or hate him-he hit the nail on the head.

Bill Gates recently dished out this advice at a high school speech about 11 things not taught in school. This was in the context of our politically correct feel-good culture and how it is failing to prepare young people for 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 40 thousand dollars 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. He doesn't have tenure.

Rule 5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a 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 your 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 about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' 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 done away with 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 and Christmas break off-and 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.

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So, did Mr. Microsoft really say these things? No, he didn't. This frequently forwarded and oft-misattributed piece is actually the work of one Charles J. Sykes.

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Mr. Sykes' original list contained three more nuggets of wisdom. The question of whether this list was cut short so that it could be attributed to Gates, or it was attributed to Gates because it was cut short ranks right up there with "which came first the chicken or the egg?".

In e-mail forwards, it's very common for witty things to be misattributed. We either can't remember the actual source, are too lazy to look it up, lack the ability to look it up, or are just plain wrong. Virtually any joke about southerners being dumb is attributed to Jeff Foxworthy. Witty one-liners (such as: "Why do we park in the driveway and drive on the parkway?") are said to be the work of comedian Steven Wright. Even the Dalai Lama isn't immune from misattribution.

If you like the advice (and most of it is very good), go ahead and forward it on, but remove the junk first. Or, respect Mr. Sykes' copyrights and Break this Chain!

What Do You Think?

Category: General Junk
References: Snopes.com

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