General Question

troubleinharlem's avatar

Do you have advice for my generation about life? Share the wisdom!

Asked by troubleinharlem (7991points) October 25th, 2009
56 responses
“Great Question” (14points)

What do you live for, and what can you tell my generation (generation millenia, apparently, as it’s called) about life?

What would you would have liked to know at my age? (17)

Don’t be shy. (:

Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0


wundayatta's avatar

Don’t expect wisdom from anyone else. You’re the only one who knows anything about your life. And whatever you do, don’t trust anyone over 30 (like me)

filmfann's avatar

My generation was right about war, poverty, womens rights, gay rights, minority rights, and the ecology.
We were dead wrong about drugs. They are poison for the soul.

Haleth's avatar

Generation millenia? Who came up with a crappy name like that, some old person?

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

I am almost three times your age. (that makes me 49, if you are bad at math) Things have changed so much in the last thirty years that I would think it might not be applicable. When I was your age, there were very few personal computers, no cell phones, the Internet was almost unheard of, no CDs, and most cars came with manual transmissions, and the automatic was an extra option.

I’m not sure there is anything of importance that I can tell you except for the obvious. That would be: Kindness will get you farther than cruelty. Do what you love because life is too short to have a job you hate. Pick your friends with care, because there are plenty of people who want nothing more than to see you fail. That’s about all I can think of for now, old age is a bitch, you know, the mind is the first thing to go.~

mponochie's avatar

The most important thing I have learned over the years is that the way you think now and what is important to you know will change drastically as you age. Based on that my advice to the youth would be to have an open mind and try to ask yourself if your current actions could one day cause you embarrassment. @troubleinharlem the fact that you are insightful enough to ask this question tells me that you will be okay with your future, enjoy life.

JLeslie's avatar

Be accepting and open-minded towards others. Treat others as you want to be treated.

There is a saying—don’t spit into the wind because it will come back and hit you in the face, this means don’t be quick to judge others, because some day you might find yourself in the same situation.

Don’t speak badly about others, gossip can get you into trouble, you never know who is related to or knows whom.

Money isn’t everything, but in our society it means a lot. Forget that it can buy you things, and focus on that it buys you independence and freedom. If you have a bunch of money saved up and you hate your job you can quit. If you fall on bad times and have savings you don’t have to panick. Once you have savings, money gets money, and it doubles every 15 years at just 5% interest. So if you have $100,000 saved up by the time you are 30 it will be $200,000 at age 45 even if you never saved another penny again. NEVER get into credit card debt (with the exception of a dire, God forbid, circumstance where you have to pay for healthcare or food in a desperate situation. Use credit cards for all the perks, cash back, or airline miles, but pay off in full on time every month. Only buy what you can afford.

Be positive and encouraging to the people you love, don’t take them for granted.

Don’t write down anything you don’t want others to know.

skfinkel's avatar

Take care of your teeth. Be true to the deepest part of you, and try to ignore the trends that don’t make sense. Be honest. Think about others’ feelings as well as your own. Don’t let money make you do things you don’t want to do. Make good friends and keep them. Be skeptical and think creatively. Don’t be afraid.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@skfinkel thanks for putting into words what I could not, if I ever need a ghost writer, I’m calling you.

galileogirl's avatar

Your generation will make mistakes just like all prior generations have. The trick is for you as an individual do the right thing instead of following the herd.

And don’t ask advice from men without pants.

augustlan's avatar

Watch this. All of it.

rooeytoo's avatar

I wish I had possessed at 17 the self confidence and self esteem that I have now. I could have avoided a lot of the pain and stupidity I became embroiled in. But as they say, these were not mistakes, they were lessons I needed to learn to get to where I am today. And I am proud to say I like me today, I am a really good, smart, valuable woman!

whatthefluther's avatar

Follow your heart and your passions. Live life to the fullest….travel, experience new things and keep an open mind. Embrace diversity in everything…..monotony is boring. Aging and the passing years are not a count down to death… is living and a continuum of learning, growing and becoming wiser. Take risks but understand and be prepared to face the results and repercussions of failure. Think before acting and take responsibility for the results of your actions. Treat yourself and others and our planet with respect. Be a good friend and you will have good friends you can depend on. Love yourself and don’t be afraid to open your heart to others. Do realize it will not always be reciprocated. and that you will almost assuredly experience hurt, but don’t let that stop you from opening your heart again to another. Success and happiness are yours to define….don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Make the most out of what you have….you have to play the cards you were dealt the best you can. Count your blessings and never take anything for granted. If you get thrown off, get up, brush yourself off and jump right back on. Enjoy the ride….its a once in a lifetime opportunity.
See ya….Gary/wtf

dpworkin's avatar

You can’t cheat an honest man; never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump.

YARNLADY's avatar

You don’t have to like everything that happens to you, but you do have to make the best of it.

Poser's avatar

Be comfortable being alone. All by yourself. Only then can you truly be comfortable around other people.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Cartman's avatar

Very Yoda of you. Thumbs up!

troubleinharlem's avatar

@mponochie – well, I think that I can learn things from other generations. They’ve lived and gone through what I haven’t.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Haleth – Babyboomer isn’t much better. D: What else could it be?

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Jleslie – Wow, thanks. ^^ That’s loads of things to remember. (:

troubleinharlem's avatar

@jsfinkel – why my teeth? I mean, I do know, but that seems a bit random.

CMaz's avatar

Go to school, stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Stay healthy, shut the TV off and stay away from most things that need the TV turned on.
That goes for the internet too.
Save your money, if you cant pay for it with the money you have save it till you can. Credit should only be used in case of emergencies.
As your friends start to overextend themselves and isolate themselves. You will become more worldly, outgoing and healthy.

One day you will be old/er. Follow the above and you will be wiser, stronger and way ahead of the curve.
Don’t let the materialism, and anti-socalsem of these times drag you down in your later years.

You can use this advice now. Or wait till you are in your later years and discover the same conclusion.

A message in a bottle, seeking to be found.

wundayatta's avatar

Actually, there is something I think it is valuable to know. Maybe a couple of somethings.

First, I think it is important to always be kind. Always try to understand where a person is coming from. Try to gain insight on what makes them behave the way they behave. You don’t have to approve of what they do, but if you try to empathize with them, it seems to make most relationships go more smoothly.

Second, listen, especially when people criticize you. You don’t have to defend yourself all the time. You can listen, and learn from people’s feedback. You can validate other people’s feelings by not being so defensive, and this helps you be kind and it makes it a little easier to solve problems.

Third, and I think this is hardest when you are young: take the long term view. It’s hardest when you are young because you are experiencing most things for the first time. This is particularly true with love. Breaking up hurts like hell, and sometimes it feels like you can’t survive it. After you’ve been through it once, you realize you can survive. It still hurts like hell, but if you can remember that you survived the last one, you can comfort yourself that this pain will end.

This last piece of advice is extremely difficult for me to follow. I tend to get so involved in things, that I forget all but the moment. This makes me passionate and intense, and that feeds my sense of mattering, but it can also create drama that wouldn’t seem so important if I remembered this advice.

Fourth, reach out to people. So many of us are shy. If someone takes the initiative, I usually find that there are people dying to make friends. This, too, is a piece of advice I wish I could follow.

Finally, make mistakes! Sounds crazy, but it is through our mistakes that we learn the most. If we only do the things we know we can succeed at, we are playing it far too cautiously. You limit yourself. It’s odd, but the more mistakes you make, the further you can get. Sure, people are pissed at you at the time, but they’ll get over it, and as time passes, you can try again, and this time, do it right!

trailsillustrated's avatar

don’t get married early. wait till your’e 30.

naivete's avatar

@troubleinharlem I was going to ask this question last night… I couldn’t because I had asked too many xD Great minds think alike.

troubleinharlem's avatar

Finally, make mistakes! Sounds crazy, but it is through our mistakes that we learn the most. If we only do the things we know we can succeed at, we are playing it far too cautiously.

@daloon – Oh, I know! I went to Spain this summer and I figured out that the only way I could learn was to make mistakes. The kids that didn’t learn were the ones that were afraid to talk to the people that lived there.

@ChazMaz – how do you mean antisocialism?

@whattheflutherCount your blessings and never take anything for granted. I need more help on that one. It’s so easy to take things for granted.

@augustlan – wow, thanks. (:

@naivete – I learned from the best. ^^

CMaz's avatar

“how do you mean antisocialism?”

As in lack of socializing. Sitting in front of the TV and the PC instead of getting out.

There are no real social skills any more. For some/most. We communicate at a distance, seeking out commonality with individuals that have no effect on the current environment we are in.
Allowing many to project a skewed ideal as to who they are and think.
Why be real with one another when you can hide behind closed doors and be who you are not.
Or who you are not completely.

jfos's avatar

Never trust a man with two first names, i.e. Richard Thomas, etc.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

* you are not entitled to anything, most things have to be worked at with some contribution on your part

* it’s not weak or an old fashioned construct to use manners and courtesey

* don’t assume because you do ‘right or good’ things that nothing bad can happen to you. Pay attention, stay present, use reason and don’t assume rewards.

* Love is a wonderful gift, balm and blessing on your life but it can’t heal everything and it doesn’t give you free rein to express yourself without consequence, assuming you will be forgiven just because of good intent.

filmfann's avatar

@jfos Never trust a man with 3 names!
Lee Harvey Oswald
John Wilkes Booth
Mark David Chapman
Stephen Matthew David

Poser's avatar

@filmfann—I have three names! Great, now I’m going to be a killer!

filmfann's avatar

@poser Are you known by 3 names? You never say John Booth, or Lee Oswald, or Farrah Majors.

Poser's avatar

@filmfann My mother used to call me by all three when I was in trouble.

JLeslie's avatar

I would bet the majority of the America population has three names. They just were always referred by their full legal name in the media I would guess.

skfinkel's avatar

@troubleinharlem : Why teeth? because people don’t realize that have to last a long, long time. I know more than one person who said that if they knew they were going to live so long (and they were only in their 50’s or 60’s) they would have taken better care of their teeth. They could still live 30 more years! It kind of helps with a life long view of things, and it’s also symbolic for the rest of your body.

whatthefluther's avatar

@troubleinharlem…Re: Count your blessings and never take anything for granted. and your response. “I need more help on that one. It’s so easy to take things for granted.”....

Of all the points I made (I meant them all sincerely), that is probably the most important and understandably the most difficult to grasp when you are young and healthy and on top of the world. You are new here (welcome to fluther, by the way), so you may not be aware of my situation, but in my mid 40s I was “rich” and spoiled in so many ways only to get smacked in the face with a debilatating terminal disease (ALS) and lost the ability to do most of the activities I loved and took for granted. I’ve adapted to the worsening condition and have a much different and better outlook on life and although I am dying I am by far “richer” now than ever in my life in many more important respects. But I sure miss jumping on one of my several motorcycles, jumping out of perfectly good airplane and skydiving, getting airborne in a raft through whitewater rapids, hell, even standing and walking to my front door and being able to turn the fucking knob. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU LOSE THEM, TO COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.
See ya….Gary/wtf

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

rings @whatthefluther‘s doorbell and runs away. };^P

Aethelwine's avatar

If you screw up, own up and apologize.

Forgive those that you love when they screw up.

Grudges are not worth holding on to. Don’t live in the past!

And the teeth. Listen to @skfinkel!

RedPowerLady's avatar

You have to find balance in all aspects of life. Don’t expect it to come naturally, you always have to sit down and really think about how much balance your life has.

One example coming up for you soon would be pursuing a career vs. having an enjoyable life (often we choose too much of one or the other).

Also contributing to your community through volunteer work is so amazingly rewarding. Amazingly Try to incorporate this into your life. And a bit of culture as well :)

RedPowerLady's avatar

@jonsblond If you screw up, own up and apologize.

Lurve. I highly agree!

Parrappa's avatar

Just want to jump in and say this was an awesome question with awesome answers.

The “great question” option just didn’t do it justice, I felt this was the only way I could express myself.

augustlan's avatar

@Parrappa I was just thinking the same thing. I sure wish I’d had Fluther when I was 17!

augustlan's avatar

One more piece of advice… Don’t Fluther during class! :P

Strauss's avatar

Lots of good advice on this thread, but I’ll still add some things from the perspective of my 61 years…

Do what you want to do before you have to do something else.

Have your grand adventures while you are young so you have time to learn their lessons and/or recover from them. They will provide you with many lessons and even more stories for your children and grandchildren.

Love freely. By this I do not necessarily mean fall in love often, or be indiscriminate with your sex life, but I mean live a life filled with love.

Think about how your actions affect those close to you and those who come in contact with you.

Smile sincerely, and as often as possible.

Appreciate the beauty in yourself, in nature, and in others, in no particular order.

Tell those you love how you feel, and tell them often. You might not always get another chance.

whatthefluther's avatar

@Psychedelic_Zebra….I saw it was you in the surveillance camera, but I did not see Evelyn. Don’t tell me she was playing with the departing and arriving aircraft at Bob Hope Airport again. I know she would never hurt a spider, but she scares the shit out of all those non-believers (tho, that would have been fun to watch). See ya….Gary/wtf

JLeslie's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I frequently quote my grandmother who said, “do what you want to do while you can do it.” Your quote is slightly different…I like it.

pinkparaluies's avatar


JLeslie's avatar

@pinkparaluies Why do you say that? I say once you are married and know you want children have them relatively young (which I define as mid-late 20’s to early 30’s). If you are going to have trouble getting pregnant it sucks to find out when you are 35. You have more energy when you are young. People typically appreciate travel, freedom, and alone time more as they get older, if you have a 10 year old you are not able to do these things as much as you might want.

pinkparaluies's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, but its not appropriate for him to be having children at seventeen. Don’t be a defensive parent lol

JLeslie's avatar

@pinkparaluies I don’t have children. I would never guess you were talking about having children as a teenager, that seems obviously not recommended.

pinkparaluies's avatar

@JLeslie I just dont think its very sound for him to have any while he could be in high school or college.
Either way, I agree that in some areas its better to be a younger parent

JLeslie's avatar

@pinkparaluies Again, I can’t imagine anyone would ever recommend being a parent in high school or college. It does not even occur to me that someone thinks that way, but I have found from being on Fluther that I guess there are some cultures that think it is normal to get pregnant in high school – still shocks me. Somehow I doubt the OP who thought to ask this question thinks having a baby when you are 19 is even an option. I guess if your original statment had been, don’t get pregnant while in school, I would have known what you meant. “Long long time” is very open to interpretation.

augustlan's avatar

A bit of practical advice, and maybe a downer, but it needs to be said. Buy life insurance as soon as you can. I was diagnosed with kidney disease when I was 28 or 29, and no life insurance company will touch me now. I have three kids, and I really wish I’d had life insurance before this problem came up. :(

Val123's avatar

Be VERY careful about what you post about yourself on the net.

nebule's avatar

love without limits

Strauss's avatar

My dear departed mother used to say,

“If you are walking down the street and see a person without a smile, give them one of yours.”

zenele's avatar

Everything in moderation.

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