Dear Isha and Amisha,
Another year is drawing to a close; the smell of Christmas is in the air. The weather is lovely and its time for you to dream of all the goodies “Santa” will bring you……. You know it’s only us, that Santa does not exist, yet you still play along and I do not discourage it for it’s all a part of the spirit of Christmas….the warm glow that surrounds us as we look forward to another year, another fresh start, another beginning. There’s also the end of the past year, a chance to look back on our mistakes and a chance to learn from them. As you grow older, I find there are so many more things I have to tell you, so much more I need to tell you for soon your childhood will be out of my grasp and I will find I haven’t had the time to tell you all I ever wanted to. Hence this note, someone forwarded me this email today, apparently, it’s part of a speech given by Bill Gates (if you do not know who that is, look it up on your encyclopedia, yes, that fat book you never touch!) and it seems to say so many things that I do want to tell you. Maybe it will be a little out of your depth right now, but then, who knows, maybe it will help you understand and evolve into better individuals…. So with all my own two bits thrown in , here goes:
Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!
At least face up to the fact that when things do not happen the way you want them to, everything seems so unfair to you…but that is probably exactly what makes it perfect for someone else! And it’s not your parents business to right every imagined wrong…neither is it possible for them to fix it, nor do they want to. So when you are busy playing and scolded by the teachers for missing class, it’s your headache, not ours.
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.
And feeling good is something that comes from inside yourself, using up all my shower gel or deodorant because you like to smell nice, doesn’t quite cover it! And self esteem will make you look good even in scruffy jeans and sneakers…you do not need those high heels and mini skirts to feel good about your self!
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.
That includes buying chewing gums or having icecream at dinner. You better earn it. Just because I vaguely said I would buy chocolate sauce does not mean I have to rush to the store and get it when you do not bother to finish the work I set for you. And even if you do the work, we have no deal here, lifes not a contract.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Just wait till you grow up……life is tough, just revert to Rule no 1.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
And that’s something that passes by silently all the time, you had the opportunity to finish all your work and watch TV in the evening but you chose to mope around the house with your fake story about the fake stomach ache just because you did not want to have your lunch……now don’t come and tell me its TV time and you are missing your masterchef nonsense!
Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
It’s never ANYONES fault, but your own. Specially, remember your sister had NOTHING to do with it!!!!
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.
And while you’re at it, clear the desk and the bed and the floor…. And leave the bathroom dry and clean after you’ve used it!!!! Remember clothes are to be folded and kept in the closet; you do not scrunch them into little balls……
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.
In life, you don’t get second chances, ask me! And when it’s gone, it’s gone. You cannot say, ”oh I got most of the answers right…”, in life you have to get ALL of the answers right EVERYTIME. Btw, there isn’t always one right answer, life is not a question about revolution and rotation, often there are many answers and choices to be made. You just have to find whats best for you and live by that!
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.
And your own time is not my time. I really don’t care that you are bored with your teacher or do not feel like practising the piano today just because you THOUGHT of something. Your thoughts are in your head. The piano, it needs to be physically practised every day.
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
And fairies do not come flying to your rescue either….and remember, if you visit the sickroom every time you forget your homework, someone’s going to catch on….guess who?
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
Yes, I mean that boring little girl in the corner, the one who looks like she is going to burst into tears and the one whos always answering the teacher’s questions…..it’s not cool to be ignorant. And even if you don’t end up working for anyone quite like that, you will have befriended someone who maybe is just feeling shy and lonely…..and who knows, it may be a beautiful friendship that will last you all your years.
It’s still a beautiful world out there. Enjoy every moment of it for all it is worth. Most importantly remember to smile, for there is more love surrounding you than you can possibly imagine……. And take care.
Happy new year!