[Warning: this article is not for the fainthearted.]
Please note further that this article is directed at (what I hope is) the majority of you, who have at least one loving parent. (An exception is therefore made for those who don’t, or whose parents or guardians have been guilty of outright actual abuse. That sad topic will be covered in another article.)
If you live in a reasonably normal family…
Then the advice you receive from your parents, and many teachers, is generally worth more than you may realise… at least, at this point in time.
It starts with stupidly mundane, repetitive mantras such as “Wear your hat! It’s cold/raining/snowing outside!”
Of course, for small details like that, it doesn’t really matter, right? It won’t kill you…!
No, you’re right; it won’t kill you… but small things lead to bigger things. Trust me; they do… just as there’s no such thing as only one cockroach.
Your parents may not always be right, but usually they, and most of your teachers, believe it or not, actually want simply to prevent you from suffering. And not just now, but for the rest of your natural life.
That’s why your parents (and teachers) rarely say “I don’t know,” because they need to give you a direct, immediate, and useful answer.
So please give them some latitude; they’re trying to save your bacon. And they’ve done plenty of stupid things when they were younger (you just won’t ever hear about it).
And please don’t ignore their warnings, and don’t take it the wrong way; someday it WILL count for real!
And even if they didn’t make certain mistakes, chances are they’ve seen it all happen to someone else. That’s the problem with being older, and having been around “too long”. We’ve seen too many bad things happen.
One of my students recently asked me what the worst incident was that I’d ever come across in my hospital career. Well, it involved a 5 year old with facial fractures whose mother had died in a car crash right next to her the night before… and she didn’t know her mother was dead, and she kept asking for Mommie… until the day I die, I will remember that little girl.
Another friend of mine, having reached her late 20s, was fond of saying to her younger teenage sisters, “Listen to Mom! She was right about everything!”
Mark Twain left home at age 18, because he thought his Dad was too “stupid”. When he returned at 23, he was amazed at how much the “old man” had learned in just five years! 😉
So it’s vital to be clear and decide in advance whether you’re going to trust your own better judgment. (Hint: please never go against it!)
So please remember, again, that your life is valuable. There has never been anyone in the history of the world exactly like you, and there never will be again. You are uniqueness itself.
I once wondered, “Who will rescue the rescuers?” That was after a local police officer died in yet another motor vehicle accident, as she had rushed to save someone else in peril… and she hadn’t bothered to put on her own seat belt. 😦
Dead is forever, at least in this world.
And life is short. Don’t shorten yours… PLEASE.
Because life can also be so wonderful. 🙂