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

Stress_Test

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And student loans aren't a bad thing so long as you understand what you're getting into. It's appalling that the reaction of young people across the country is something like "you mean I have to pay this BACK!?!?"

Duh kids, it's a LOAN, not free money!!

Urg, I'm getting on a soapbox. Hopefully someone out there might still learn something. Maybe not something good, but something! :D
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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Marriage is a God ordained institution. It should not be entered into sans a great deal of consideration.

No other institution has provided society more stabilization.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
 

Stress_Test

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Marriage is a God ordained institution. It should not be entered into sans a great deal of consideration.

No other institution has provided society more stabilization.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I got nothing against marriage per se, really. After all, my parents were married something like 50+ years and fulfilled the "till death do us part" of their vows.

That seems to be a rare exception since my generation. Don't know if it's because we (and the gens after us) aren't made of stern enough stuff, or if it's society-driven, or both.

And I'm pretty reclusive anyway by nature so I'm not a good example heh
 

fulee9999

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to be fair, this going to college just to get the paper is the same here in the EU as well, and while you will not accumulate ( any ) debt while doing so, you're not helping yourself either. I have met sooo many people with various diplomas, like adult education, communication, marketing and they ended up doing something very different. I'm not saying you shouldn't, if you know that will be benefical for your further carreer path, then by all means, go ahead, but at least half of the people I know got a degree just to have one, assuming it will lend them a better paying. On the other hand it's almost impossible now to find a decent welder, car mechanic, plumber or anything like that, who actually nows more than what ten minutes of googling will teach you.
 

bykfixer

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When I was a kid the vast majority of the kids I went to school with had parents that were still married when we graduated.

My kids, they went to school with a vast majority of kids of divorced parents. Just one generation later.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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When I was a kid the vast majority of the kids I went to school with had parents that were still married when we graduated.

My kids, they went to school with a vast majority of kids of divorced parents. Just one generation later.

No-Fault Divorce became law in California, on January 1st, 1970.
 

Monocrom

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Folks don't take marriage seriously, anymore.
Will never forget how one woman married a guy
because he was a fantastic dancer. Yup! Her reason.
Give you guys one guess how long the relationship
lasted.
 

sween1911

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(I can't say this is the MOST important thing I've found in life, but this is pretty huge...)

For the longest time, I always thought going along with the group was being a good friend, and anytime someone said "What do you want to do?" I'd shrug and say "I'm good for whatever" was always a good thing to do.

I learned that that was taking the easy way out. It's actually being a good friend to choose an activity, plan it, show interest in people and encourage them to participate, and present it to the friend group and give people the option of saying "Yes" or "No" and working through times, people's availability and prices and such. There's no perfect activity planning where it's 100% perfect. What's actually the good righteous process is putting all the details together as best you can, putting it out there, letting everyone shoot holes in it, and iterate through the process, adjusting times, schedules, prices, until everyone can make it as best they can.

I had my own social insecurities through high school and didn't have a close friend group until into my 20's, so it took me awhile to figure this out. I've since organized some get-togethers, getting a bunch of friends together, sending emails, bringing in who needs to be brought in, keeping track, sending updates, and it's a worthwhile endeavor.

I used to resent the planners, resenting being pressured to make decisions, hated being put on the spot with what day was good or bad, what I could afford, but I always appreciated the activity, movie, dinner, whatever after the fact. Realizing that I always put it on other people to tell me what to do and coming to terms with the fact that my friends liked me and wanted to see me and were willing to work through the plans so I could participate.
 
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jtr1962

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I got nothing against marriage per se, really. After all, my parents were married something like 50+ years and fulfilled the "till death do us part" of their vows.

That seems to be a rare exception since my generation. Don't know if it's because we (and the gens after us) aren't made of stern enough stuff, or if it's society-driven, or both.

And I'm pretty reclusive anyway by nature so I'm not a good example heh
If you look back, for most of history marriage was a business arrangement which was generally mutually beneficial to both parties. Since most women couldn't support themselves, they got a lifetime of financial support. Men got someone to run the household and raise their children. If the men had any decent amount of money, they also got heirs. Both parties stayed in it out of self-interest, even for arranged marriages where they might not have even liked their partner, much less loved them. Mistresses were tolerated so husbands could get what maybe their wife couldn't give them. In wealthy marriages often the women had people on the side also.

This started crumbing during and after WWII when women entered the work force in large numbers. Now they didn't necessarily have to stay in a marriage which made them unhappy. Of course, taboos persisted for a while, so it wasn't until maybe the 1970s or 80s that lots of people started getting divorced. By the 90s or later it became the norm. I joked when my uncle died in 2020 that marriages like his (73½ years) were something you would never see again. His wife, my mom's sister (still alive BTW) never worked outside the home, either, which is another thing you'll never see again. Even my own parents, who both fought like cats and dogs, stayed married for nearly 46 years, until my father passed in 2006. My mother had actually filed for divorce long before that, but the lawyers dragged it out. Realistically, she wouldn't have had enough income to support herself. The marriage was basically a business arrangement, even if it wasn't in the beginning. Even when we were kids, we were all calling my parents' marriage the farce that it was.

I agree with Chauncey that historically marriage provided society with stabilization. At the same time though, sometimes certain institutions outlive their usefulness. Marriage hasn't quite reached that point but we're not far from it. Never married, no kids is the fastest growing demographic. I think wider exposure to more people online and ideas has a lot to do with it. For example, guys might see all the hot girls online, compare those to the types that might have an interest in them, then decide they would rather just be single than settle for something they'll be unhappy with. This isn't to say looks are everything but it's often high on the list when people (of both sexes) look for a partner. Then there's something similar with personality. They might see all these interesting personas online, and think why do the people I get interested in me do nothing but watch dumb reality shows in their spare time. No interesting hobbies, really no interesting discussions, either.

Added to all this is the fact most people aren't inherently monogamous. Even if your partner is drop-dead gorgeous and really interesting to be with, it might be like eating the same delicious food all the time. Eventually you're going to want a change. Perhaps not permanently, but at least for a little while. I think marriages might survive better if both partners were OK with their partner having flings on the side.
 

Lumen83

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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.

I don't think it is entirely different. I didn't come away from that experience with the idea that to key to success is just to work aimlessly and hope that will equate to being wealthy. I think the message is that if you wait around for something to be handed to you, it is almost certainly not going to happen. But if there is a life that you want to end up living, whatever that may look like to you, the key to achieving it is getting out there and working toward accomplishing it for yourself.

I know people that never ended up doing much with their lives and are completely unhappy now. Always blaming others for their situation or focusing on trying to put themselves in a position where they could receive some free social handout or another. And it never amounts to anything for them that remotely resembles an enjoyable or successful life by whatever definition you choose for the word success. I also know an awful lot of people who started with nothing or next to it, and decided early on that they were going to achieve what they wanted, asked for no special considerations, and didn't blame anyone else but themselves for the position they were in, and became very successful.

The point is, however we define success for ourselves, having the proper mindset and resolve is crucial. And I think that is a lesson that is being taught less and less to the folks who could probably use it the most these days. But I say it is the most important thing that I ever learned.
 

jtr1962

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The point is, however we define success for ourselves, having the proper mindset and resolve is crucial. And I think that is a lesson that is being taught less and less to the folks who could probably use it the most these days. But I say it is the most important thing that I ever learned.
That I agree with. I pursued hobbies and learned a lot of useful things (like home repairs) out of necessity. I didn't wait around for someone to entertain me, or to fix stuff that broke.

As for why that lesson isn't being taught any more, it's as clear as day to anyone who cares to look. I compare my childhood to those of children today. What didn't I have that they do? More material things, and more helicopter parenting. What did I have that they don't? Lots of unstructured "play" time. Far too many parents these days consider that a "waste". They want to program every minute of their child's life with "enrichment" activities. Or put more accurately, they're worried about preparing their kids to get into Ivy League schools when they're in pre-K. For that matter, pre-K is yet more programming. Kids that age are better off with unstructured playtime. There was no pre-K when I was a kid. I think even kindergarten was optional, although my mom sent me.

To this day, I love unstructured time. This is how people invent stuff.

Helicopter parenting is another unfortunate trend. Kids learn by sometimes getting hurt. You can't protect them forever. By 2nd or 3rd grade, my mother was fine letting me come home, do my homework, then go out and ride around unsupervised until dinner. In the summers I could do that all day if I wanted to. I could also stay home, read, play with the few toys I had, build stuff out of cardboard boxes. I decided what made me happy, then just made it happen. Sometimes that even meant getting creative. Parents have no money to buy the toy you want? Make something similar out of junk.

Parents have to just trust that their kids will do just as well without constant supervision or programming. They might not walk the path their parents had in mind for them, but they'll be more likely to create a life for themselves which they at least see as successful.

Good read on what I'm talking about:

 

Monocrom

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If you look back, for most of history marriage was a business arrangement which was generally mutually beneficial to both parties....
Absolutely true! And, one of the biggest reasons why I never got married (though not the only one) is that in modern-times, marriage has zero benefits for men. You could put a massive amount of effort into a marriage, and one day out of the blue get blind-sided by your spouse who decides, "Hmm, I could do better."

She leaves, takes your children with her. Courts side with her, literally simply due to her gender. And, not only can you not do anything about it, but you have to pay alimony and child support. Think about it. She leaves, turns your world upside down. Devastates you, and your children, AND.... You then get the privilege of paying her to do so! Yeah, no; I'm not participating in that type of lunacy!

Some will say that doesn't happen to every guy. Happens to just over 50%. So your odds are literally worse than a coin flip. Some will say, well; you do get children out of it. Honestly, take a good long look at what happened to the founder of U-Haul. That is a man who absolutely would have been better off not having children. Again, you get zero guarantees that your children will love or respect you. Even if you raise them properly.

And, this is coming from a Christian. Though admittedly, I am different. Having a massive amount of children made sense in an era when most of them didn't live much longer beyond their first Birthday, or died days after birth. Having nine children made sense back then because it meant you were playing the odds. Have nine, maybe one or two would survive to become adults. Nowadays, you get some devout members of the church who have nine or 12 children, they all survive; and become a major financial burden on the family as a whole. Brilliant!

Truth is, I keep my guard up around my fellow Christians. The vast majority have an attitude of "I'm saved!" So they treat non-Christians as if they're a lower form of life. Or, they believe that their righteous indignation is all the justification they need to commit the worst acts you can imagine! Or, that if you're a man, you MUST get married. Again, great idea.... for a long dead era. Like having massive numbers of children. I'd never intentionally shoot myself through the top of both feet, and I'd never intentionally get married. Literally zero benefits to doing both. But both come with horrible disadvantages. Get married, work yourself into misery like a slave for people who likely won't appreciate your sacrifices. Why?
 

Olumin

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Having a lot of children was not just due to high infant mortality but also in large parts served as cheap labor. Children would work as soon as they were able & would provide additional income, aid in the household or help in the family business or on the farm. Having a lot of children was essentially a form of pension back then as well, as families usually lives under one roof & children could care for their parents. As the standard of living rises around the world, people have fewer and fewer children. Its a quite natural & predictable development. As fewer people will enter the workforce, start businesses or innovate, one can only hope that AI will make up for the lack of productivity in coming generations, otherwise our way of living will not be sustainable.
 

Olumin

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- 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? [...} do anyone have more free time?
Yes. A LOT. 14-18 hour shifts were not uncommon during the industrial revolution (& still are common in many 3rd world countries today). The work of farmers never ended. Children were put to work as soon as they could walk. No retirement. You either worked until you died or were no longer able, at which point (if you were lucky) you had a family to care for you in your final years or you died in the streets. The concept of recreational hobbies, vacations or sending your children to school would seem absurd to most working class people back then, there was simply no free time for such tings.

The industrial revolution lead to so much free time that people could dedicate their time to other things. Instead of working on fields, children could spend their youth acquiring an education, which in turn lead to a self perpetuating circle of rising innovation, productivity and a rising standard of living. Today we enjoy a largely care free childhood, 8 hour shifts, 5-day work weeks, vacation days & retirement.

Free time is not time spent doing nothing, but time spent doing what we want, rather then what we have to. There is little reason to believe that coming generations will not be better off then us.
 

raggie33

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In my late teens I worked damn near 110 hours per week. Slept in a stroreye and meter room at work.man it sucked lol
 
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