Monday, November 2, 2015
Dear Young Americans, This is What You Didn't Learn in School: A Letter from Your Aunt by S.M. Renoir
by S. M. Renoir
Today is your lucky day! Your long lost Aunt (me) has written you a letter containing 30 lessons you didn't learn in school, lessons she feels certain will help you to lead a happier, healthier, and more successful life.
Suspend your disbelief - the fact I am not your genetically-related aunt, matters not. The Information Age has transcended these kinds of shallow and superfluous boundaries. I have adopted you, for all intents and purposes, and become your loving E-Auntie. I decided to write this letter to you because after years of running my own businesses, I've seen first-hand that intelligent young people lack important knowledge. I myself, used to be part of this camp. I was extremely educated but clueless about life!
I studied for years at top universities and learned many valuable things, but I have to say, the car business is what really prepared me to be successful in "real life." I love that line in "Ghostbusters" when Dr. Stanz says, "Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*."
Why are you ill prepared for life? Why is it that schools and parents with the best of intentions can’t seem to figure out what it is you need to know or whose responsibility it is to teach it to you? E-Auntie has entrepreneurship coursing through her veins so instead of psychoanalysis and trying to figure out the myriad causes of the problem, I just decided to solve it instead. Here - read this! Figure pointing and shoulder shrugging doesn’t pay the bills after all.
How to manage your mind, your credit, your career choice, your sexuality, your purchases, your family, your ups and downs, your manners, your work-life balance - these 30 lessons contain heirloom wisdom updated for the needs of the 21st century. E-Auntie wants to help you help yourself and revive the American Dream. Too many people, including my proud Swamp Yankee ancestors worked too hard and shed blood to see this place go to hell in a handbasket. I love America; this country is more than baseball, apple pie, and fat old guys on Harleys. It's a place founded on the notion that people should be able to wake up in the morning, feel safe, say what they want, worship how they please, and actualize their dreams with hard work.
I want you to learn to think for yourselves and from there formulate your own intelligent and well-considered views on life. Don’t automatically buy into whatever authorities or the popular media are telling you is right for you. It may or may not be sound. You need to cultivate your critical thinking skills and ultimately decide for yourself. It’s your movie and the only meaningful script is the one you can write for yourself. Ready? Let's get started!
I am an eccentric geek who started a car dealership and finance company for people with less than stellar credit. More importantly, I am a mother of two wonderful young boys. I like to think and write and explore my inner space. I collect exotic church hats. I repurpose everything. I meditate daily. I drink sparkling wine like it's going out of style. I have a white Turkish Angora who may well be the most affectionate being I've ever met. My husband is an auto auctioneer and we all live happily together at the end of a remote farming peninsula in Rhode Island.
I wrote Dear Young Americans because I sincerely believe it can help young people to learn the things they need to lead happier lives. Growing up in postmodern times isn't easy. I think it's the reason we have all these new acronym disorders - ADD, ADHD etc.
I wrote Cargot: The Secret Language of Car Dealers for fun one morning. I had my good friend Richard look it over. He added a couple words and voila! That book showcases the politically incorrect vernacular of car dealerships. Cargot is a portmanteau of car and argot. Argot's etymology hails from the language of Parisian bands of thieves, how apropos.
I'm currently working on my 3rd book, No Man No Problem! The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Buying a Car on Her Own! It's coming along well.
I think the most difficult part of becoming a new author is finding your audience. It's definitely a 3 part process. First, you write. Second, you navigate the land of formatting, and covers, and publishing. Third, you have to learn to promote your work effectively. It's not easy. Then again, really, what is easy? Life is an iterative process towards becoming the best version of yourself. It doesn't always go smoothly, but you have to keep plugging away. I wish you all the best in your endeavors and may the force be with you!
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