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This is a chapter from the book The Teenager's Guide to the Real World by Marshall Brain, ISBN 1-9657430-3-9. For more information on the book please click here.

Chapter 3: Adults Rule the World

Adults rule the world. That is a fact of life. I can clearly remember as a teenager being quite mystified about that fact. Why arenít teenagers ruling the world? Here is a simple population graph that shows you why adults rule the world. It is taken from data in the 1995 World Almanac:

Figure 1 - The population distribution in the U.S. by age.

From this graph you can see that there are twice as many children as there are teenagers. There are seven times as many adults as there are teenagers. In other words, if a UFO flew over the earth tomorrow and beamed up all of the teenagers, the world would hardly notice. In the grand scheme of things, teenagers are insignificant.

Is that true? You might find yourself thinking, "Thatís not true! There are twice as many teenagers as there are adults!" The above graph is true. So why do you and most other teenagers feel that teenagers outnumber adults? Itís because the world you live in creates a strange illusion for you. During most of your life you have lived in a school environment that concentrates children and teens together. Right now you spend a majority of your life in a classroom where there are 20 or 30 teenagers and 1 adult. The family structure supports the illusion as well. In your own family there might be two or three kids and one or two parents. It seems like teenagers, therefore, make up at least half the population. What you are missing is the millions of adults that do not have children. There are a lot more of them than you imagine.

By sheer force of numbers adults rule the world. But there is another thing that causes adults to be in control: they own everything. They own all of the cars. They own all of the houses and apartment complexes. They own all of the businesses and skyscrapers. They own the government. They own all of the forests and weapons. They own it all.

These are very interesting facts, and they have interesting implications. You need to learn and understand one thing from them: Adults are in charge. There is nothing you can do to change this situation.

Now, what are you going to do about it? If you are going to succeed - in fact, if you are going to accomplish anything at all, whether it be saving the environment or becoming a millionaire - you need to learn how to fit into the adult world. You need to become an adult yourself so that you are not in the insignificant fringe group called "teenagers." The sooner you learn to fit in to the adult environment, the better. The world simply does not make sense until you see it from an adult perspective, because adults own and operate everything.

The great thing is that you can start to become an adult today. The day you stop thinking about yourself as a teenager and start thinking and acting like an adult, you begin to become an adult. To do that, it is important to understand what it means to think and act like an adult. That is what the rest of the book is about.

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This is a chapter from the book The Teenager's Guide to the Real World, ISBN 1-9657430-3-9, published by BYG Publishing, Inc. For more information on ordering a copy of the book, click here.

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Keywords: teenagers, teenager, teen age, teenage, teens, teen, adolescents, adolescent, parents, parent