This book by Charles J. Sykes first come to my attention from a list of rules that was circulating on the internet but was attributed to Bill Gates.
The list of rules includes :
#1 Life is not fair. Get used to it.
#7 If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier.
#9 Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t.
#15 Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it “opportunity.”
#29 Learn to deal with hypocrisy.
#32 Television is not real life.
#38 Look people in the eye when you meet them.
#42 Change the oil.
#43 Don’t let the success of others depress you.
#48 Tell yourself the story of your life. Have a point.
Each rule is explored with examples that parents, grandparents, and teachers can use to help children help themselves succeed—in school and out of it. Here are a few rules kids won’t learn in school. An example how the rules are being expanded are found on the following excerpt:
“Rule 1 Life is not fair. Get used to it”. The average teenager uses the phrase “It’s not fair” 8.6 times a day. The kids got it from their parents, who said it so often they decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When those parents started hearing it from their own kids, they understood Rule 1. Recognizing that life is not fair is a reality check. Hurricanes, tsunamis, plagues, earthquakes, and famines are not fair. Genetics is not fair. The good guys don’t always win. It’s not fair that some kids are taller, go through puberty early, or can eat gallons of Häagen Dazs without gaining a pound. It’s not fair that your average talentless D-list celebrity makes more money than all the math and science teachers in your school combined,…”
Charles J. Sykes is the author of five previous books: A Nation of Victims, Dumbing Down Our Kids, Profscam, The End of Privacy, and The Hollow Men. His columns have appeared in numerous newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. A radio and television host at WTMJ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research.
This book orginates from his list of 14 rules first broadcast on his Milwaukee, Wis., radio talk show.