I love holding on to those little pieces of advice that people in my life have given me. It’s often what pushes us through life, helps us achieve goals and make the right decisions. These pieces of advice are just five of the ones that still stick strongly with me. They are not exactly word-for-word what the person said, but rather my personal interpretation that essentially communicates what they meant.
1. “Just because you can do something now, it doesn’t make it okay for others.”
My mom told me this after my 21st birthday dinner with my parents where I had a glass of red wine, now that it was legal for me. Basically, she meant that just because I could drink now, it didn’t mean that I could disrespect the morals of others, whether they were still underage or chose not to drink. Not only did my head apply this to alcohol, but also to many other things in life. My standards do not match others’ standards, and if I want others to respect mine, I ought to respect theirs.
2. “If you’re doing something unpopular but smart, don’t be ashamed of it.”
My math teacher from seventh grade said this passionately when I ran into her a few years later in the middle school front office. When she asked what I was up to these days, I replied with a lame, “I’m just in community college.”
“What do you mean, just?” she said. “That’s not a just!”
She told me I was being smart, avoiding the $50,000 dollars in student loan debt that she was still paying off. From that moment on, I stopped giving that answer with shame. I started giving it with pride.
3. “Sometimes our mercy is not God’s mercy.”
My mom received this from God first, and communicated it to me. As someone who is more merciful than I should be, this opened my eyes. Sometimes the right kind of mercy isn’t being the peacekeeper. Sometimes it means what the world might say is unmerciful. But, if the goal is to radically change, God’s mercy can be very different from our idea of mercy. And we should operate that way.
4. “Never use your debit card for online purchases.”
Thank God for my dad, who helps me take care of the practical things of life.
5. “Just assume every driver on the road is an idiot.”
If I remember anything from when my dad was teaching me to drive, it’s this. That and, “predict the driver’s next move.”
What are some pieces of advice that have stuck with you and changed your life?