Name the most important thing you have found out in your life!

KITROBASKIN

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Olumin that was a good idea to elaborate on your aphorisms, but your respect angle seems to be only looking at wanting respect. The valuable kind of respect is earned. Even if we are told we must respect someone or something, that unearned respect could be termed civility, or basic respect maybe. Individuals do all kinds of things to garner respect. Some of it works, even though it is really a trivial achievement. Those who do good in life and do not seek respect deserve the highest respect, don't you think?
 

bykfixer

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I like how this one is evolving. Yeah some is teetering on the edge of underground yet not really. Again I'll say members here do a good job of policing themselves. But I also think the staff of CPF in the past keeping things orderly or else still plays a role in members actions currently.

Now my view of family may differ from most but that's because my family was fractured before I was born so myself and my siblings were taught to be weary of family at times because they can be worse than strangers sometimes. To me family doesn't necessarily mean blood relatives. I have many associates I consider family even though we aren't kin to each other. Yes, as a gregarious species we do need family, just not always cousins, uncles and those sorts of "members of the family".
 

Olumin

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Olumin that was a good idea to elaborate on your aphorisms, but your respect angle seems to be only looking at wanting respect. The valuable kind of respect is earned. Even if we are told we must respect someone or something, that unearned respect could be termed civility, or basic respect maybe. Individuals do all kinds of things to garner respect. Some of it works, even though it is really a trivial achievement. Those who do good in life and do not seek respect deserve the highest respect, don't you think?
Yeah I was mostly talking about the types who demand respect. The other kind you are referring to I think is admiration. Again, it sounds nicer to say I want to be respected rather then saying I want to be admired. Sometimes it can also just mean civility or common courtesy, but I feel like that's more rare.
 

jtr1962

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I don't see the Russian people as evil either. But this Ukranian don't lose any sleep when Russian soldiers or tank crews get decimated when they invade a nation they have no business being in. Simply because they choose to blindly follow orders from former KGB scum. Some are doing the right thing and surrendering. Those are embraced and treated well. No secret who Putin was when he was legally elected by the Russian people. They made their choice, now they have to live with it.
I think the Ukrainians are helping to wake up a lot of people in the rest of the world who take freedom for granted. Freedom is never guaranteed. The time may come where even we in the US may have to fight for it. That might be the only positive thing from Putin's illegal invasion. Yeah, the Russians knew exactly what they were getting when they elected Putin.
You can't just cure poverty by throwing money at the problem. We tried that in America already. Ended in absolute failure. Don't know what the solution is, but something else needs to be tried.
My mother studied some aspects of that in college in the 1970s. As best as I can tell, a large part of the problem was the handouts were given in return for government exerting control over these people's lives. For many they couldn't work, even if they wanted to, because they would lose medical coverage and food stamps. They would actually be worse off. In many cases, the government told them where to live (i.e. housing projects).

The pandemic relief actually gave us a hint of what might work. Many economists have said, you want to help the poor, just give them money with no strings attached. It doesn't even have to be a large amount of money. The stimulus payments and enhanced child tax credits did exactly that. People still had an incentive to find work because working invariably made them better off. Elon Musk has proposed universal basic income as the solution to people losing their jobs to automation. Again, it wouldn't create a disincentive to finding work, but it would act as a cushion against poverty.
As far as that one generous guy.... an aberration, an anomaly. You can't cite several other examples. I'm sorry, but they don't exist. One or two, or even a handful of examples doesn't counteract how bosses typically behave towards their employees. Even the average GOOD bosses don't go that far in being good.
Yeah, we're seeing it now. Most bosses suck big time. Look at this push to get people back to the office. People are more productive at home, save time/money commuting, aren't exposed to toxic coworkers, have a much better work-life balance. And companies save money on office space. Sounds like a win for everyone but the control freak bosses won't have it. They want the minions to come back so they can breathe down their necks all day. I think a lot of bosses actually like their charges to be miserable. It gives them a sick sense of accomplishment.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I like how this one is evolving. Yeah some is teetering on the edge of underground yet not really. Again I'll say members here do a good job of policing themselves. But I also think the staff of CPF in the past keeping things orderly or else still plays a role in members actions currently.
I think things have changed so much in the world that it's hard to keep things as they were as far as policing the forum. If you want to ban any discussion on politics you can't talk about money, work, food, gas, school, transportation, travel, church, getting a car, buying a house, growing your own food, art, crime, drugs, getting sick, or war. I'm sure the mods had to make some compromises to make sure not everything on the site got cut out. We're living in a new world, post pandemic on the brink of world war, economic disaster, and famine. People are going to be more irritable with the state of affairs, but I think we are doing a decent job staying civil and keeping it together.
 

Stress_Test

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I've learned that arguing on the Internet is a complete waste of time :D


( I still fall into that trap on occasion though, I admit... )
 

Lumen83

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We were really poor growing up. I went to a regional school with kids of a much more affluent community. I always felt out of place and wanted the things they had. I was always upset with my parents because they couldn't give me those things. I didn't understand why I couldn't have what I wanted and be given it just like those other kids were. I didn't understand why I wasn't wealthy too. One day my dad gave me this fancy wooden box. It was really impressive and it looked to me to be really important and special. Someone or something had really taken the time to hand carve this with gold inlays and hardware. And on the top of the box was written in beautiful silver painted font:

"Inside this box, you will find the key to unlimited potential and success"

Half mesmerized and totally excited, I took the box and opened it up at once to find it completely empty. Confused, I noticed on the bottom of the inside of the box in plain black letters just one simple word:

"Work"

I was upset and felt like he was mocking me or playing a joke on me. All of these decades later of hard lessons, hardship, and prevailing to what I consider a position of success, the truth is he was right.
 

LED1982

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Still waiting to stumble upon something super important. After thinking hard about the question for a few minutes I figured that I must not have found it yet.
 

Mister Ed

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Just to remind folks, this is not a political forum. Take it to the underground if you want to talk that stuff.
 

jtr1962

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We were really poor growing up. I went to a regional school with kids of a much more affluent community. I always felt out of place and wanted the things they had. I was always upset with my parents because they couldn't give me those things. I didn't understand why I couldn't have what I wanted and be given it just like those other kids were. I didn't understand why I wasn't wealthy too.
This has me thinking a little of my childhood. We weren't in an affluent neighborhood by any means, but we were in a NYC housing project, basically the poorest part of the area. That meant I didn't have some of the things my classmates did. The really painful part was when the idiot teachers used to ask everyone where they went that summer at the start of the new school year. Best case maybe we went to the beach a few times, and the grandparent's places. Other kids who were middle class might have gone on one or two real trips. However, I always thought it was insensitive of the teachers to even ask stuff like this. It's a great way to make kids from poorer families feel even more worthless than they already do.

One day my dad gave me this fancy wooden box. It was really impressive and it looked to me to be really important and special. Someone or something had really taken the time to hand carve this with gold inlays and hardware. And on the top of the box was written in beautiful silver painted font:

"Inside this box, you will find the key to unlimited potential and success"

Half mesmerized and totally excited, I took the box and opened it up at once to find it completely empty. Confused, I noticed on the bottom of the inside of the box in plain black letters just one simple word:

"Work"

I was upset and felt like he was mocking me or playing a joke on me. All of these decades later of hard lessons, hardship, and prevailing to what I consider a position of success, the truth is he was right.
My take on this is entirely different. Success is having a life you enjoy, or at the very least don't hate. It's not about having fancy things. It's what you spend, not what you make, that matters more. That's the lesson growing up poor taught me, namely to just do without, instead of envying those with more. Life is about trade offs. To me spending more hours at a job I despise is worse than not having the things the income from that job might provide. Oh, and if you're going to work hard, better to do it if you're working for yourself. At least you get to keep 100% of the proceeds of your labor.

Another lesson is that unfortunately life never turns out the way you might hope. I'm stuck caring for my mother now. This isn't what I envisioned I would be doing now when I was young, but like everything else it'll eventually pass.
 
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bykfixer

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Life takes you where you're supposed to go. You can fight it or you can enjoy the ride. At times it's an uphill battle, at times it's a plateau. Some times it's a roller coaster with steep drops and long climbs. If all you seek is "stuff" that's all you'll get. If you give a lot you will receive a lot. The smartest doesn't always become wealthy, the strongest does not always win. Compared to eternity your life is like the mist from a breath on a cold morning.
Make the most of it the best way you can because it doesn't take long to whizz past.

As a lad I played little league baseball. I had fun. A bunch of other kids were all competitive-like, always seeking a trophy. They really hated it when my team beat them. We were 5th place material in a 4 team division. But we had fun. The occasional win meant way more to each of us than those championship trophies those other kids contantly sought after. One year I was picked to be on the chsmpionship team. I played a couple of games. We beat the crap out of the other teams and most on my team would gloat like they were really something.

One afternoon I was pitching and struck out another batter. Two down, one to go. Last inning. We were up like 376 to 0 again. The catcher tossed me the ball. I turned around and to the outfield and way off in the distance I saw some friends riding skateboards in a parking lot. I tossed the ball back to the catcher and walked off the field to go hang out with my friends. They were having fun. I was not. Coach all hollering "get back here" like I was his freaking dog or something.

Time passed and he knocked on my front door, trophy in hand. I said "keep it". I probably could have progressed to the next level. Maybe even made the pro minor leagues where they pay you minimum wage to beat your brains out training in hopes of reaching the next level. That was not for me. I just wanted to have fun. It was no longer fun to me. I became a hot dog skateboarder and when broken body parts made that no longer fun stopped doing that too.

I've had 4 jobs in 58 years. Two were while in high school. I liked the first one but they fired me for being a slacker. Rightly so. The first real job lasted nearly 15 years. Then one day it was time to go. I ran a bicycle shop back then too but one day that fizzled out. A hobby had turned into a job.

The next job I still have. Most of my comrads love what they do so with all of the perils and pitfalls we enjoy our role(s). I ran a flashlight store for a time but that fizzled out too. It just wasn't meant to be. It was more of a promotional experiment and the product didn't catch on so that was that. In the meantime the job I have now involves juggling chain saws, bowling balls and hot potatos at times and sometimes that hurts but the reward is if we do it well we get invited back to the next gig. So far so good.

The most important thing I've found in life is if you aren't enjoying what you're doing, do something else.
 
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jtr1962

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That's sort of been my philosophy. The downside is if living a life you enjoy doesn't match the conventional life a lot of short-sighted people think you "should have", you get a lot of criticism. I have a friend, who I'm actually not even sure I should call a friend any more, who constantly bought up life choices I made. "Oh, you wasted your life". "You should have been on top." "Your parents should have kicked you out." "Your brother and sister lead miserable lives just like you." "You never got married and you and your siblings never date." "You never had kids." This guy has literally written volumes like this. Often, we would be having an email discussion about something else, then out of the blue he starts up again. Former CPFer. In fact, that's how we met. The friendship was good in the beginning but it went to mostly endless criticism. Meanwhile, HE moved back in with his parents when he was 42, stopped working altogether a few years later, and had lots of years where he didn't even make $10K. He was married, divorced, and has a daughter he was estranged from until recently. He hasn't talked to his brother in years. I saw him lose all the friendships he made on CPF thanks to his endless criticism of people and unrealistic expectations.

He basically projected what he considered his own failures on to me. I told him many times I never regretted what I did with my life. I had the work-life balance I wanted once I stopped working for other people. It would have been nice if I had gotten more gigs which paid well but those don't grow on trees. I had regrets in other parts of my life, some of which I now realize weren't really under my control. Not hooking up again with my one true love was probably the biggest one. But even with her, I'm not sure marriage would have been for me. And I never, ever wanted to have kids from the time I was a kid myself, whether with her or anyone else. Like you said, life should be enjoyed. You shouldn't do things just because it's what the majority thinks you should do.

I have my own stories on sports. I never liked most sports except cycling, but I suspect part of the reason for that was my teachers forcing me to play ball with the other kids in grade school. The way they played wasn't fun. They constantly argued about strikes and balls. If you made a mistake which cost runs, they yelled at you. Basically they treated every schoolyard game like it was game 7 of the World Series. When the teachers mentioned that I don't like sports to my mother, she said I'm not in school to become a professional athlete.

In high school it was different. To this day I still remember one time me and my friends, both boys and girls, had an impromptu ball game at Harris Field (near Bronx Science for those who aren't familiar). That was fun! Nobody really cared about winning. I wished my earlier experiences in elementary school had been more like that.

My late father played baseball in high school. He was noticed once by a scout from the Red Sox. This would have been around 1951 or 1952. Not sure where it would have led to, but he didn't take the offer because he was a Yankees fan. Some relatives thought he blew his big chance. I can't speak as to whether or not he would have made the majors. He probably would have gotten no further than being paid minimum wage to train like heck in the hopes of making it out of the minors. But at least he kept his love of baseball by refusing the offer.

When I was in my early 20s I was seriously considering bicycle racing. I wasn't part of any clubs. I just rode a lot and got very fast. But then I thought of the downsides. I'm not sure I would have liked riding 15,000 miles a year instead of 3,000 to 5,000. I'm sure this would have taken its toll on my body. How many pro athletes end up spending their later years living on pain killers? So I decided against it. Going pro would have turned a hobby I loved into a job. And I probably wouldn't have made it that far anyway. This was the 1980s, the era when anyone competitive in cycling was doping. Not something I would have even considered. My health is more important.
 

bykfixer

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When I was a little fella it seemed like it mattered whether you could play basketball or football etc as well as the other kids. I wasn't good at any of that stuff. So I hung out alone a lot. Luckily I liked me.

A coworker once said "if you lose two fingers and had enough real friends to count on those that remained you are a lucky person". He was right. Dude died of in 020, which is why I say was.
 

fulee9999

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I can think of two things I found out, that hasn't been mentioned:

1, Travel as far and as much as possible
I was already working and living on my own for a few years when I realized how important this is. While growing up, we were fairly poor as well, but my mom somehow always a made it a point to have the family travel somewhere. ( just a small tangent here, I can symphatize with you guys as well who previously mentioned this, christmas time was the most annoying/sad part growing up like this, especially when I was so young that I still thought santa was real, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why the rich kids got what they wanted, and I never did, even if I behaved the best I could. tangent over ) So while growing up, I never had designer clothes ( which the other kids did ) or the newest tech ( or for that matter, basically any of it ), I never owned a modern gaming console, to this day I have never had an xbox or playstation, BUT we always traveled somewhere. My parents first flat screen TV was the one that my brother and myself bought them from our salaries. But anyways, as our family slowly started crawling out of the pit, the destinations grew farther and farther away, eventually in my teens to the point of going abroad, even to other continents. After I left home and started working and living on my own I still traveled the best I could, and it was a very profund thing. Meeting people from all different cultures and walks of life can really expand your horizons. Understanding why people have those weird habits, or why do they do what they do is facinating. Even now, at this day and age, where we can connect with people from all around the globe without even leaving our home I still think it's great to just go out there and experience life in the wild. There is so much you can learn from people, and there is so much you can learn about people.
On the practical side, one thing that I would suggest is to avoid turist groups or group travels as much as you can. If you're familiar with your destination, then you can go around on your own, or with the people you're travelling with, but if not, just find somehow someone that will guide you. I had my fair share of group tour excursions and it's always get to the bus, hear generic stuff you can google on the bus from the guide, arrive at a place, go in, do the local stuff, get back and on the bus, continue. That way a lot of times you get a very false image about the country you're visiting and you can miss a lot. The stuff you'll see if you're not going with the crowds sometimes will be the grime and dirt of that country, but that's part of the course, and that's still part of that country and the experience. The worst you can do is going a cruise ship if you want to experience the world, those are most sanitized, sedated and harmful ( to the experience and the visited place as well ) trip you can have. Lastly I'd like to point out, that traveling does require you to have some money, but I know people who traveled around the world with literally zero income, just by hitchhiking, couch surfing and the likes, so it's doable to say the least. It's not optimal, but in this day and age you need very little to go around. The better option is if you have at least some capita, and you go around the world actually working either remotely and/or locally, a friend of mine is actually doing this currently, and they are having a blast. Caveat to this is that you need some profession you can do remotely ( art, design, programming, etc ) and willing to work minimum wage, but this way you'd be fairly comfortable and secure on your travels.

2, When you think "someone should do something about that", remember, you are someone
This isn't something I've learned in life by myself, but actually through others. While in my teens as I started to "mature", in the sense that I would be more autonomous, going on my own, meeting people on my own, with my brother we discovered from other people's reactions that usually when s*** hits the fan, it's always us first in line. Someone falls over and needs help? One or both of us is already there. Car stuck in the snow? You know it, we're the idiots pushing the car out of the ditch. Stuff's on fire? Already there. Someone rolled down the hill in their ATV? Guess who is descending down the cliff face while the other is managing people still on the road? Someone collapsed on the street or public transport? Yep. Without missing a beat, somehow we always instictively go and do something without even thinking, and I'm fairly sure this is our parents doing, because until someone pointed this out to us, we were just doing it. My point is, especially in today's society people tend to ignore people and if you catch yourself thinking that someone should have done something, that someone is you as well. To be absolutely clear, you never want to be a hero, that would be a surefire way to get injured, but there is always something you can do. Call someone, tell someone about it, just do something. There enough grief, misery and suffering going around the world these days, if you feel like something should be done, just do something, anything. It doesn't have to be spiderman level stuff, just calling your council about the pothole on the street, or helping to the old lady to the other side of the street is already something. ( reading this paragraph to check if this makes any sense really sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, but that's not my point, I'm just trying to explain the best I can how I realized this )


Aaaand after these short thoughts, just to reflect on two things that I still remember after typing this lengthy rants:
- automation and progression will never ever lead to people have more free time. today we can farm as much land in an hour that people could in a week 200 years ago. do farmers have more free time? no. today we can manufacture 10000 more parts in a single day that anyone could a few decades ago, do anyone have more free time? no. admittedly, we don't have to work 6-7 days a week nowadays, but still, not much more free time to go around. and even if we did, just think about those people, who this day have so much money, that they literally don't have to work a single day in their life, do they have free time? do they just go around learning philosophy, excercising their bodies and doing research to further mankind as we know it? no. somehow humankind always find a way to keep themselves busy, and if they're not fighting for a living wage, they're not the utopistic future-people one could envision. but that's just my opinion
- the other insight is related to the previous one, and also mentioned here, work. yes, most probably you will need to work in order to achieve your dreams, but that does not necessarily mean you will ever get close to it. either you are not working towards it, but just working on something to have an income, or you simply do not have the opportunities to go anywhere near it. that being said, related to work, the most important thing that I've learned that it does not matter how much you work, but how much people think you work. I remember doing 10-12 hour shifts and people still complaining that I didn't do some minor stuff they wanted me to do, because they did not see the horrendous amount of other things that I had to. on the flipside, I had high level managers congratulating me on something that was very very easy and quick to fix. transparency and visibility matters.
 
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