Impart wisdom to the young'uns

Inspired by this thread on Dopers’ ages, I thought maybe the older ones can contribute whatever “pearls of wisdom” or advice they have accumulated over the years.

Even though I assume that “older ones” refers to people 40 and above, anyone can submit their ideas. Also, even if something is a cliche, still contribute it, because some things cannot be said often enough.

My two cents
[li]Enjoy your body when it’s young[/li]When you’re young your body is brand-new. As you get older, things start to squeak, and hurt, and not work as well. So, do as many things as possible at a young age (travel, dance, play sports, have sex, etc), and don’t waste those years (e.g. sitting in front of a computer, sitting on the couch watching TV, etc).
[li]Time flies[/li]This is a huge cliche, but it’s so true. The feeling, to me, of turning 40 was like being in a 2-hour exam where, in the beginning, you think that you have all the time in the world and so don’t pay much attention to the time, and then, you suddenly look at your watch and you think “Shit! I only have 20 minutes left!”


my two cents:

  1. Invest for your future. NOW. Don’t put it off until you are older, take the time to understand the power of compounding at your young age. By even placing a few dollars into your retirement funds now, you will be light years ahead of your peers.

  2. Take care of your body, don’t let things slip and slide as you get older. It is easy to pack on 5-10 pounds a year, it is a lot harder to take them off. But if you stay on top of it, you won’t have to deal with a lot of the problems your peers will have.

my two cents:

  1. Invest for your future. NOW. Don’t put it off until you are older, take the time to understand the power of compounding at your young age. By even placing a few dollars into your retirement funds now, you will be light years ahead of your peers.

  2. Take care of your body, don’t let things slip and slide as you get older. It is easy to pack on 5-10 pounds a year, it is a lot harder to take them off. But if you stay on top of it, you won’t have to deal with a lot of the problems your peers will have when they get older.

  1. Rape, then pillage, then burn.

  2. Anybody who says that brute force or money can’t solve every problem hasn’t tried enough of either.

  3. Some battles just need to be fought.

Things you were taught as a little kid will suddenly be very important as an adult since others will value them in you:

-Say please and thank you.
-Be honest.

If you’re going to goof off while riding a bike, wear a helmet. Cracked open skulls are no fun at all.

Just 'cause you can, don’t mean you should.

Be careful which toes you step on today - They may be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.

When people show you who they really are, your job is to SEE!

Use your school. Current students rarely appreciate the value of their education while they’re in the middle of receiving it. They look at it as a burden to be avoided if possible. But for many people, it’s the last valuable thing they’ll be given for free in their lifetime. So don’t waste it.

Keep a set of perspective. Just because you’re personally experiencing something for the first time, don’t assume nobody in human history has ever had this experience before.

Ditto for saving for the future. Chinga mia!! :smack: :smack:

My advice is to my fellow geeks

  1. 95% of everything you’re worried about right now is bullshit. Your acne, your lack of a girlfriend, the way you stand out, the byzantine social structure among junior and senior high schoolers. Don’t worry about it, little dudes!! It’s all going to work out!! You’re on the right path. No one’s going to give a fuck about how cool you were out in the world. Stop worrying about what others think, do what you want, and let your freak flags fly!! That’s how you get free! Also, you’ll wind up having more fun.

and on that note . . .

  1. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that high school is as good as it gets. That’s total bullshit. That makes your everyday worries bullshit look like something King Solomon carved in stone on a good day.

Adulthood is hard work. Your parents are right about that. But when you’re an adult, you really are free. You don’t have to play volleyball in a smelly gym with a bunch of assholes in shorts and striped socks unless you want to (Why you would want to is another story, but let’s stay on message here.) You don’t have to sit in a hot classroom unless you decide to be a teacher. You don’t want to do math in your spare time? Hey, fuck math!! You don’t have to do it unless you want to. All you really have to do is show up for work on time and not goof off too much, pay your bills, and lie to your wife about how much you think those extra pounds make her more beautiful.

And speaking of wives, the girlfriend/boyfriend/consenting goat thing gets a lot easier out there in the wild. You’re gonna find someone, you’re gonna settle down, you’re gonna have kids, and then you’re gonna wish you were still unable to find a mate. Be that as it may, what I’m trying to say is that adulthood==freedom. Adulthood also==huge pain in the ass sometimes, but at least you’re free. Freedom makes all the difference.

IMHO, of course.

Always read the fine print.

Read the entire document before signing it.

Read all the instructions before doing the first one.

There are no secrets to success. Work hard, educate yourself.

The more you know, the more likely you’ll be able to take advantage of a situation that pops up. Chance favors the prepared mind.

Quoted both of these for absolute truth. Whatever discipline you can impose on your body now and can maintain over the years will pay you back in agonies saved in later years. Plan not only financially for your future but also plan for your quality of life - your ability to move around, pick up something off the floor, take a walk in the country, hike up the Grand Canyon, whatever you want to do.

My contribution:

  1. Learn how to do stuff, and be at least somewhat handy around the house. Man or woman, if you don’t have to hire someone to install that new door or replace a couple of planks in your deck, you’ll be happier and have more money besides.

I figure I can participate, since I’m old in soul, if not in body.

Learn to think about life in terms of what you have, not what you don’t have. Meditate often on the people who came before you, who built this country by toiling in coal mines, on plantations, in sweatshops, for 80 hours or more a week just to survive. Realize that most people still live that existence. Think about how fortunate you are in comparison. Do something useful with this incredible gift of freedom you have.

Although they seem simple and obvious to me now, finally accepting these two rules took a lot of time and pain in my life:
You can’t help who you like.
You can’t make someone like you.

When you are young, you think these things are quite evident, but you are stupid and cocky enough to think that you can buck the system and change these rules. You can’t.
I think that to have a more interesting and fulfilling life, one needs to spend more time ACTING than REACTING. Take the bull by the horns more often. Don’t let circumstances always dictate what you are going to do.

Not the greatest of wise truths, I know, but for someone who has many more days behind him than ahead of him, they were hard to learn and harder to accept.

Inside every one of us old adults is a 19-yo wondering what the hell happened. Enjoy that youth.

One of the best things I’ve learned is that if I’m angry about something, I don’t have to thrash it out right then and there. It works much better if I sit on it until I’m calm. Then if it’s still an issue I can talk about it rationally instead of getting in a fight. But 90% of the time, once I’m calm, I realize it was some random petty thing not worth getting upset about and it was much more my mood than anything else. And I’m happy that I didn’t make a fool of myself by yelling about it and revealing what an idiot I am. (Obviously this would not apply to a crisis situation, but my life isn’t usually that exciting.)

This reminds me: about a year ago I thought of the following statement
“I’m not an old person, I’m a person in a body that is old”

Basically, when we see people who are older than us (eg 70 if you are 40 or 40 if you are 17) we tend to think of them as “the other”, as “old people” (ie different from us in wants and desires and other ways). However, in my case, as a 40-something year old, I just feel and experience the world in a very similar way as when I was 20, it’s just that I am now doing it while inside a body that isn’t as new as it used to be. I asked my dad, who is in his mid-60s, and he said he felt the same way.

It’s almost like if some aliens who live for 1000 years are sent to live on a planet where they always have to be inside a vehicle, and these vehicles last only 70-80 years. After 30-40 years the paint begins to rust and the wheels don’t turn as smoothly, and after 60 years the hubcaps start falling off and most cars aren’t able to move much. And the aliens driving the 20-year old cars don’t see that the ones driving the 60-year old cars are practically the same as they are (since 60 years is a tiny amount of time given their full lifespan)

Not sure how good of an analogy that is, but these types of thoughts have changed how I see 70 year olds who struggle with physical limitations

Don’t do what I did.

True love is something you make, not something you find.

You can’t bluff a man who doesn’t know what’s going on.

The mix the world runs on consists of one part high octane to nine parts bullshit. But it is difficult to tell which part is which.

Never get involved with a person whose problems are worse than yours.

Nobody on their deathbed ever wished they spent less time with their family and more time at the office.

And there ain’t no free lunch.


Don’t be afraid, ask her out. Rejection only hurts for a little while - you’ll forget it quickly enough. But if you don’t ask her out, you’ll never know. And you may up being alone or worse, lonely.

Understand that life isn’t fair. Trying to fight against this principle is futile.

Never say never.

Forgiveness is a key to happiness.