Eleven Life Lessons

This was passed on to me by my sister-in-law.  So much of it is just so true, great life lessons even for those of us who remember our school days as ancient history.

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in school.


Rule 1 : Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn’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 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, 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..


Treasure Your Memories

I wrote earlier about the first verse of Gary Allan’s “Tough Little Boys”, which has been ringing in my head this past little while. Today, I would like to skip to the third verse.

Here is the video once again, followed by the lyrics, followed by my comments.

Tough Little Boys – Video

Tough Little Boys – Lyrics

Well I never once
Backed down from a punch
Well I’d take it square on the chin
But I found out fast
That bullies just laugh
And we’ve got to stand up to them

So I didn’t cry when I got a black eye
As bad as it hurt, I just grinned
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Scared me to death
When you took your first steps
And I’d fall every time you fell down
Your first day of school, I cried like a fool
And I followed your school bus to town

Well I didn’t cry, when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Well I’m a grown man
But as strong as I am
Sometimes its hard to believe
How one little girl, with little blonde curls
Could totally terrify me

If you were to ask, my wife would just laugh
She’d say “I know all about men
How tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again”

Well I know one day, I’ll give you away
But I’m gonna stand there and smile
But when I get home, and I’m all alone
Well, I’ll sit in your room for a while

Well I didn’t cry when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

When tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Tough Little Boys – Commentary

I must confess that I never followed the school bus to town. That is probably because we had the girls already in preschool, which we drove them to. But I did feel like following the bus and I did feel something of a loss.

Mostly, though, this verse makes me recall how our eldest would watch for us in the first year of kindergarten. She would get on the bus and the bus would drive off, then turn around in the parking lot just down the street and double back past our house. Sure as the sun sets in the west, our little girl would be watching out the window, eyes desperate and hungry for our wave. And if it was a rainy day, or I was distracted and it looked like maybe I was not giving my full attention to her when we waved, I would hear about it after school.

This is a memory I cannot forget. Every morning when I put the girls on the bus, our eldest still waves to us and watches (with a little less hunger in her eyes) for me to wave back. And every morning, I see that four-year old that waved with such hunger and need in her eyes.

This memory is precious.

It is important to hold tight to those memories that connect us with our past, with key elements of who we were before we became who we are. It’s important to remember the smiles and the trials, the moments of courage and strengths, the challenges that held us down, the times we pushed back…and how we felt and why we made the choices we did.

We won’t all put those memories into song, but it might be worth a try.