Here are the top ten pieces of free advice I have for today's kids. Be forewarned. This list will contain no pipe dreams like "World Peace." Pipe dreams are unachievable. Fear never qualifies an attainable, desirable goal as a pipe dream.
1. All computers should work. Don't expect them to do a thousand frickin' things. Just expect them to do a few things reliably. If they are at a public school system, they have to work, period, or somebody should go to jail. No one should ever have to say, "The server is down." If you can't get the computers to work, put the mechanics in charge of the computers and the computer geeks in charge of the cars, but be ready. Within ten or twenty years the computers will be simplified, operator friendly, and reliable, but nobody will be able to go anywhere because the cars will be down.
2. If you have to vote, don't expect to stand in a long line. Don't experience history by reenacting what it feels like to be a Soviet Russian in Leningrad during the 1960's, just a-standin' there waitin' your turn to buy stale groceries.
3. The President should act like a normal person and mingle with real people. If he can't for security reasons, then there is too much insecurity. He needs to be forced to be brave and take his chances like all the rest of you.
4. Take control of your neighborhoods. When and where can kids just play? I'd say at this time, it's limited to recess at the schools, and there are schools that are eliminating recess.
5. Quit judging people by their looks. Oops! Now this is a real pipe dream.
5. Nobody is being left behind who is in school. People with no school, now that's being left behind. Study to help yourself. Then help those who have no school.
6. Let older kids continue to mutilate themselves with ear piercings, baggy clothes, and tattoes. Then sit back and wait to see what YOUR generation will consider fashionable. It's going to be difficult to top that one in its sheer ability to achieve a 10 out of 10 on the Masochist Scale.
7. Don't try to top the previous generation's sins, and don't think you've done it. Every generation has its own sins, yet each generation assumes their sins are the worst the world has ever seen. Don't rate your sins so high that a few religious nutcases are going to be able to convince some of your screwballs that Armageddon Is Coming (see Hal Lindsey). Armegeddon ain't coming because your generation is the worst the world has ever seen.
8. Quit eating! Get in shape! I am definitely overweight, out of shape, and 58 years old, but I can still, with a little warm-up, outrun nineteen of the twenty-two fifth graders in my class.
9. Stop and smell the roses. It's a lost art. Recapture it.
10. Quit religious fanatacism, including some American versions of it, and start worshipping our Almighty Creator. So it's a pipe dream. It's my list.