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'hey person whose opinion I respect because you are more experienced than me in this area, here is a dilemma I am in what should I do?' 'here is some advice, it's good advice and you are totally going to follow it and things will be fine eventually' totally not following their advice. why? because I am some kind of irrational idiot. but hey, I can live in hope that doing the exact opposite of what they advised will work out okay, right? right.
1.) ACCEPT OTHERS no matter how different from you they are. You don't have to embrace what they believe as what you believe, but accept them for who they are and do not cause trouble with them. After all, it maybe that you are the strange one in this situation. And don't approach the situation with the "I'm the one being discriminated against, so I'm going to be mean and angry." That's not helpful.
2.) Try and help the world around you to make it a better place than it was when you arrived. I had a professor who once said, "I may not go about this in the most peaceful way. I may destroy it into nothing, but when I'm done... it's better than when I started." ((As a side note: DO NOT destroy things in a literal fashion if you're going to get caught and thrown in jail.)
3.) Love something in the world with all your heart. It doesn't really matter whether it's a hobby like painting or creating something or a person or a pet, et cetera. The important thing is to feel that rush, that passion, that strange curiosity as to how deeply you can love it, and how far you're willing to go.
4.) Most importantly, as my friends and I always say before we depart one another's company : "Don't die, and don't get caught unless one is to avoid the other." In other words, do whatever you want, but don't get thrown in jail and don't die unless one option looks some how better than the other.
There's lots of advice I'd like to give the world before I die. It actually serves as a small amount of real, tangible comfort that the Ether exists as a medium for this kind of communication. Whether this advice reaches one person or a hundred, I'm happy as long as it lives on past me. Oh, and it deserves mention that this might not be good advice, and that I may very well be full of shit on all of these points. GENERAL 1. Those Bluetooth cellphone earpieces make you look like a fucking tool. Don't wear them unless if it's supposed to compliment your cyborg Halloween costume. 2. If there is someone in your life that you really, truly respect, be it a lover or a good friend or a trusted relative, do this. Ask them to criticize you. Openly. Honestly. Say, "Please tell me every failing that you think I have and every way that you think I can be better." This is an incredibly valuable exercise in humility, mindfulness, and trust, and there's a good chance that you can use this friend's response to help you truly become a better person. You don't have to do exactly what they say, but understand what they have to say. 3. When you're trying to decide whether or not to do something, evaluate what the worst case scenario is. Many times in my life, I've wanted to avoid doing something, then I realized that the worst case scenario isn't all that bad. Furthermore, it's okay if something's uncomfortable. If the worst case scenario for a course of action is a lot of pain, or discomfort, or boredom, but it still accomplishes something good, then do it. You're capable of putting up with a lot more pain, discomfort, or boredom than you realize, and this is an underappreciated measure of your strength. FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 1. Don't place a lot of importance on your intelligence. Meaning, realize that your intelligence will rapidly lose value as you gain years. Right now, you might be way smarter than your snot-nosed classmates, but guess what: Most of the world is also smarter than middleschool students, or highschool students, and in the adult world, you'll have to put some actual effort into becoming someone impressive, in contrast to your youthful days of amazing people with nothing more than your age and test scores. 2. Write. Write often. Everything that makes up your world should be captured on print right now, because it will prove more and more interesting as time goes on. Write down your thoughts about what kind of person you want to grow up and become, and also what kind of person you would never want to become. Seal this writing in an envelope and don't look at it for five or ten years. 3. You really can do anything. Really. Really, really. Granted, some of the things that you might want to do are extremely difficult, but they're still possible. Follow your passions. Even if they're utterly stupid, or short-lived, follow your passions. The only way to "win" in this nonsensical game we call life as a human is to do what we love, when we love it. 4. Don't be afraid to hurt people, but never deliberately try to hurt anyone. Exist as a beacon of love and compassion, but understand that part of existence is propagating a necessary amount of destruction and misery. Don't let the fear of that stop you from doing overall good things. 5. Learn from your elders. Now, you might not always need to learn what they're trying to teach you. Sometimes you learn what not to do from your elders. But whether it's through positive or negative example, you will benefit greatly from studying those that have come before you. 6. Learn, learn, learn, learn. It doesn't have to be in a formal academic environment, but learn anyway. The human race is amazing, and capable of transforming the world by virtue of only one thing, and that's the transfer of knowledge. In a short segment of your lifetime, you can amass the gist of the combined knowledge of the human race (this is an example of where the internet doesn't suck). At best, you can be inspired to add to our species' vast well of knowledge, and at worst, your life is a bit more interesting having come upon a better understanding of the world around us. 7. This should be obvious to adults, but needs to be explicitly explained you youngins. Just because something is illegal, doesn't mean that it's unethical. Just because something is legal, doesn't mean that it's ethical. Some of us play with police action figures and G.I. Joes and learn that the laws of the land determine what's right and wrong, but after some critical thought, we realize that sometimes you have to do things that friendly Mr. Police Officer frowns upon to be a good person. 8. Goddamn it, wear a condom! I'll keep adding to this. Probably the next time I'm this drunk. Please, help me out! Write up as much advice as you would like to impart to the next generation of humans and post it to this thoughtword.