Playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “Youth is the most precious thing in life; it is too bad it has to be wasted on young folks.” He meant that human beings are not wise to enjoy the fruits of youth until they are older. Here are some musings on life’s important lessons from a recent online discussion.
Spending is Easy; Saving Is Not
“A hundred dollars is simultaneously a lot more than I thought it was as a kid,” declares our first thread leader, “While also being a lot less than I thought it was as a kid.”
I remember finding fifteen English pounds as a toddler in the ’80s. I recall whispering, “I’m rich,” before my parents relieved me of my windfall, promising me it went to the police. I still don’t believe them. “One thousand dollars is not a lot of money to have but is a lot of money to owe,” confirms a responder.
Pay Now or Pay The Consequences
“Money doesn’t exist until the deposit hits your bank account, and business promises mean nothing until legal documents are signed,” asserts a level-headed observer. Multiple videos show building contractors or landscape gardeners ripping up their work when clients refuse to pay for their finished work. These guys understand this principle and are now taking action.
Few people would argue that lawyers are a necessary evil; some might even say they are like Pandora’s box. Once you open them up, you can’t control what may come — divorce lawyers nod in agreement. “In school, my law professor would say, ‘when lawyers get involved, the only people who make money are the lawyers,'” agrees an honest legal expert.
“Don’t lend money to anyone unless it’s on paper and terms of repayment are set and signed before even a penny is exchanged,” warns another commenter. “This will save you from losing a lot of family and friends but also save you from losing (the) money you may have otherwise lost.”
It may be hard to hear, but money can ruin good relationships instantly, so if someone is going to ask you, they should be prepared to accept some caveats, and should the friendship eventually fail, you have a due process on your side.
Anyone who enjoys a drink will have gone too far at some point; the secret is not to repeat the mistake of the past. In theory, this is what we all think; in practice, we know it will happen again.” This one takes some unfortunate trial and error,” admits a remorseful thread member, whose thoughts are supplemented. “Just wish I’d learned before the error,” says someone in response.
The Test Before The Lesson
“Life is the hardest teacher,” says a wise sage. “It gives you the test first, then the lesson.” I can imagine this poster sitting in a lotus position on a raft in a steep river gorge, the sound of a waterfall nearby, a warm evening mist glistening with sunset. What profound wisdom — did they design this proverb? “Nope,” the commenter advises. “I read it somewhere, but it really stuck with me.”
Who Needs Enemies?
“Sometimes the people closest to you are the reason your life is miserable,” another enlightened person quips. “Which is a citation of John Lennon, no?” asks the next contributor. Regardless, this is so true and remains a difficult scenario to escape — especially if those people are your nuclear family.
Keep Those Teeth Clean
“Dental care is expensive!” advises the next human klaxon. “Never be lazy with oral hygiene.” Those lucky enough to own a dental plan may even pay a $2,000 – $3,000 upfront deductible, while others may face other charges. The best way to save money on dental hygiene is to be dentally hygienic.
Stick It to The Man
Are all rules just? Just because one person decided on an arbitrary ruling one day — one that may defy logic or empirical evidence no less — it doesn’t mean it is the correct thing to do. Ask anyone who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Just because a person with authority tells you to do something,” agrees a rebellious commenter, “doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.”
You Do You
“No one is worth sacrificing your self-respect for,” asserts a defiant character. I am so on board with this poster’s ethos. The first thing I teach my son is respect for others and oneself. Never let anybody get comfortable disrespecting you, though earn your self-respect first.
Bojack Horseman makes a cameo here, too. “You know, it’s funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses,” quotes another poster, “all the red flags just look like flags.” Preach, Mr. Horseman.