Learning the Unwritten Rules of Life
Most of what I am going to tell you is true…
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away called ….CANADA….there lived a tall, handsome prince named ….BRUCE!
Handsome Prince Bruce wanted to go to college so that he could become a wise king some day.
However, his parents, the King and Queen of Canada….NOT REALLY….had fallen on hard times because of the wicked forces of evil battling against them. Their vast wealth was completely depleted and they could not afford to send Prince Bruce to university. So they called him into the royal chamber and said,
“We are sorry Prince Bruce but we cannot afford to send you to college. You will have to work and pay your own way or get scholarships.”
A Great Opportunity…
Now most people would think that this was bad news but not Price Bruce. He said to his parents, “Thank you for this wonderful growth opportunity. By working and doing this myself I will grow to be more self-reliant and resourceful. This will make me a better king some day.”
Many subjects in the kingdom were amazed at the wisdom and maturity of Prince Bruce. Others thought that he was delusional.
So Prince Bruce went out and worked to pay for his college education. He also applied for scholarships and received a few. Then he won the jackpot of all scholarships. It was from the Royal Canadian Navy and after he got his degree he would work as an officer in the navy. This was excellent training for a young prince.
During his first year of university he was failing English literature. He worked very hard but failed the tests. He slaved for hours preparing his term papers but he failed them also.
Towards the end of the semester, Prince Bruce realized that he might fail and lose his scholarship. It was time for drastic action so he did something that he seldom did….he actually attended class. This meant getting up early and going to the university which was something that he didn’t like to do.
By attending classes he realized that his professor seemed obsessed with sex.
Every piece of literature was interpreted with some sexual connotation. After making this observation, Prince Bruce took his final exam and for every answer he used a sexual interpretation.
He passed the final exam with flying colors and passed English literature for the year. Prince Bruce learned a valuable lesson: if you want to be successful when faced with a new situation, determine what the “unwritten rules” are and play the game by these “unwritten rules”.
The Next Challenge…
The summer after his first year of university, Prince Bruce went off to military training at Camp Chilliwackin the mighty, mountainous land of British Columbia. The training was very difficult and 55% of the students ended up quitting before the summer was over. But not Prince Bruce because he had used the lesson he had learned in English class.
The first day the officer cadets, that is what they were called, had to line up for inspection. Everyone was found to have 3 or 4 flaws in their appearance: hair too long, whiskers too thick, shirt wrinkled, shoes not shined properly. All of the cadets worked very hard that night to compensate for the problem areas….all that is except for Prince Bruce, because he observed the “unwritten rules” of the situation and decided to play by their rules.
The next day everyone was found to have 2 or 3 flaws. Prince Bruce had no more than the other cadets who had worked hard late into the night perfecting their appearance. This process continued all summer long. Slowly the flaws decreased to 1 or 2 a day but never to zero because that wasn’t part of the “game”.
The way Prince Bruce saw the game was that the sergeants’ job was to find flaws no matter what the cadets did. Some worked until 2:00 am making sure their appearance was perfect but Prince Bruce did nothing extra and yet they all got the same results. And there were no consequences during the whole summer. No one was ever punished for the flaws so what was the purpose in eliminating them.
At the end of the summer there was the big graduation ceremony. The game continued which was rather surprising. The colonel came down to inspect the cadets and sure enough everyone had some flaw that was detected. Except that is, for Ian McInnis who was the “perfect soldier”. When they inspected Ian they could not find a single thing wrong but this was not how the game was played. Finally, the sergeant picked up Ian’s rifle, opened the breech so he could see down the barrel. The sergeant exclaimed,
“There are blue monsters in your rifle. Corporal, check this cadet’s rifle to verify that I am correct.”
The corporal took the rifle and looked through the barrel and he also exclaimed,
“You are absolutely correct sergeant. There are blue monsters in the rifle barrel!”
Of course we all know that there were no blue monsters in the rifle but that was how the game was played. They always had to find something wrong with each cadet every day.
The lesson that Prince Bruce would like to pass on to the people who hear this story is,
“Whenever you are confronted with a new situation, hold back and determine the “unwritten rules” of the game are and then you can play the game too. You will be a winner every time.