14 things you did not and will not learn in school

School is all about learning…

You learn in the classroom; parabolas, historic battles, grammatical errors, foreign languages, jumping jacks, formulas, music notes, paint brushes…and all those other wonderful things we spent years learning.

But when the bell rings another type of learning begins. You’ve got friendships, bullies, liars, gravity, punctuality, negotiation, and food are all things we learn on the playground.

Classroom learning is basically theory except for the arts and PE.

Playground learning is all about enjoyment but with a dash of reality. It’s there we learn both how much fun life can be and how dangerous it is from time to time. It’s nearly always on the playground that kids learn about broken legs and arms. It’s also where side-deals are done and relationships are born.

One of my joys, when I have the time to do it, is watching my son play with his friends outside before his daycare begins.

Each day, without fail, at least one kid is crying, a few are messing around, some are making noise while others are running around with reckless abandonment. It’s quite a scene to watch over a 100 kids run around a relatively small area without bumping into each other especially because they haven’t really learned from the bumps and bruises of life.

It really is quite amazing.

Unfortunately, in spite of attending school for 12 years on top of attending kindergarten, many kids don’t learn some of the most important lessons in life.

A while back I came across a fabulous list that I think every parent should share with their kids.

It made its rounds many years ago and has been attributed to Bill Gates but that turned out to be a hoax.

I thank whoever wrote it for their insight into today’s kids as it sums things up nicely.

Today we have feel-good, politically correct teachings which have created an entire generation of kids with no concept of reality and as a result it sets them up for failure in the real world.

Here are 14 Rules every kid (and adult) should learn:

  1. Life is not fair – get used to it!
  2. The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
  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.
  4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
  5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
  6. If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes; learn from them.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  10. Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
  11. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
  12. Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic.
  13. You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12). If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven’t see one of your peers at room temperature lately.
  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.

While these rules were written for kids today, I think many of us can learn a thing or two from them.

My personal favorite is number 5.

I do believe that more kids could learn a great deal from earning an honest wage. And in fact, many of the people who earn minimum wage are critical to our way of life.

Sadly there are many people who think along the lines of “Well, if this is all they pay…” and proceed to do the bare minimum day in and day out.

What they forget is that just because you’re getting paid pittance doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. However, if that’s the attitude they have, that’s what they’ll always get.

We are not entitled to positions, promotions, salary increases…these we must earn.

How is this done? Easy, by proving to our superiors that we are too valuable to stay where we are.

By working harder than our coworkers.

By studying more than our coworkers.

By becoming better than our coworkers.

To put it another way, self-improvement.

As I talked about in my previous post, a world-class education can be had for free for anyone who wants it thanks to libraries and the Internet. But that’s up to the us.

And if you got to the bottom of this post (most people don’t) then I’m sure you’re someone who will.

Adrian Shepherd

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