Advice for the Next Generation

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I’ve seen this floating around several times.  It wasn’t actually written by Bill Gates (the real author was Charles J. Sykes,) and its drill sergeant style message doesn’t seem like something Gates would endorse. I decided to write my own version.

Rule 1. Life is not fair, so speak up about inequities and do your best to make life fairer.

Rule 2. Be confident in your abilities. Don’t listen to people who don’t care about the feelings of others.

Rule 3. Money, cars, and gadgets are not equivalent to “success.”

Rule 4. If your teacher is a bully, switch classes. If your boss is a bully, switch jobs. You don’t need toxic people in your life.

Rule 5. Flipping burgers can earn you some money and help you gain work experience, but it’s not a career. Aspire to something more.

Rule 6. You’ll mess up. Your parents will mess up. That’s part of being human. Don’t beat yourself or others up for mistakes, just do your best to learn from them.

Rule 7. Before you were born, your parents had different lives than they do now. The world is changing rapidly, and it’s important to pay attention to how we are affecting the environment.

Rule 8. Don’t buy into the idea that the artificial competition of school has anything to do with leading a productive and satisfying life.

Rule 9. If you can, travel, study, and work in other countries. You need to experience more than the town where you grew up to understand how you can be part of global society.

Rule 10. Entertainment and the media present a distorted view of the world. Question what you see.

Rule 11. Be a nerd. Be a geek. In other words, be passionate in your pursuit of knowledge and develop your expertise.

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