Charles Sykes is the author of six books, including Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves, But Can't Read, Write, or Add and the best-selling, A Nation of Victims: The Decline of the American Character. He is now a popular host of a Milwaukee talk radio show, hosts his own television show, has been a reporter, magazine editor, college lecturer, and Hoover Institution Research Fellow. He has appeared on national television, broadcast from the White House, and has spoken at major universities…but his toughest and most rewarding job has been...being a dad. He is married, has three children (one grown, two teenagers) and lives in Mequon, Wisconsin.
Rule 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The
Rule 2: The real world won't care as much about your
Rule 3: Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you feel about it.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.
Rule 6: It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a baby boomer.
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. Life
hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the
right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians
scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results.
This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers
off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight
hours. And you don't get a new life every
Rule 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems
will not all be solved in
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.
Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.
Rule 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule
Rule 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You're welcome.
If you agree, send this link on.
If you can read this - Thank a teacher!
If you are reading it in English - Thank a soldier!!
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