I had just opened up to a good friend of mine about how, after 10+ years of intractable treatment-resistant depression, I was completely exhausted and really did not want to be alive anymore. At the time, I had kind of accepted that things would eventually get better, but I thought that it would be years until my life was what I wanted/needed it to be, and I just felt incredibly frustrated at everyone telling me to "wait it out".
Instead of giving lame advice, he asked me more about my plans, and it came out that the only thing that's ever kept me going is a drive to contribute something meaningful to humanity, and I just couldn't stand the idea of giving up and essentially leaving the world a little worse off. That's when he busted out this one:
"You know, I think it's almost tragically beautiful that you keep putting yourself through this just for the sake of other people. I know it's hard to believe it'll ever be worth 15 years of suffering, but once you're on the other side of it I think you'll see what an incredible person that makes you."
It still makes me tear up every time I think about it. It was one of the most important things anyone's said to encourage me, and it helped get me through some of my worst times. Thankfully, it was only about a year after that that I finally found a treatment that worked. No updates yet on the giant ego I'm supposed to be growing, though ;)
"You aren't IN traffic, you ARE traffic."
"How would it make you feel?"
It's the sentence that changed my stance on gay marriage. Without context, that seems silly, but I'll offer up a shortened version. I grew up in suburban STL to conservative Christian parents (and they weren't remotely tolerant) and pretty much never left my comfort bubble. I moved to Kansas City when I was 20 to finish college. My roommate was good friends with a gay couple, and this was my first encounter with gay people (that I knew of, which was ignorant. There's no way it was my first). Inevitably, we got into a debate, and they basically went into a tirade about how much it sucks to constantly be berated and made fun of, and how it sucks to be treated unfairly because of something they can't control. I reverted to the classic "it's a choice!" line of thinking. They responded with "why would we f*cking choose this for ourselves? Why would we choose to constantly be made fun of, to constantly be judged, and constantly be denied rights? How would it make YOU feel?" It was pretty much that exact moment when I, who I consider to be a logical person, realized I was being an illogical asshole and that I was just regurgitating the sh*t I picked up from being raised in a conservative Christian household. From that moment on, I start undoing all of the programming in my mind from years of living in a sheltered environment. My views have since changed on nearly everything, from gay marriage to abortion to religion. One sentence from one conversation with two gay men changed me in a huge number of ways, and now I scoff at the idea that you can't change someone's mind about these things.
We judge others by their actions and ourselves on our intentions. Really made me think about people and I try telling myself that when the f*cking idiot in front on me doesn't indicate when merging.
When I was in college a friend of mine told me I was gentle.
After being called sensitive all my life up until that point, and not in a good way, hearing that made me feel a lot better about myself.
My old boss, the CEO of a small hospital, told me a story from back when he was a lab technician (for simplicity, let's call him Dan). Dan had forgotten to check some sort of mechanism on a piece of equipment he used, it malfunctioned and broke the equipment which ended up having around a $250,000 repair bill. The next day Dan's boss called him in to talk about it, and he was sure he was going to be fired. His boss asked him why he didn't do a proper check, made sure he understood what happened and sent him back to work. Dan asked him "Am I not getting fired? I was almost sure that's what this was about." His boss said "No way, I just spent $250,000 teaching you a lesson you'll never forget. Why would I fire you now?"
It seems silly, but that attitude always resonated with me. Don't make professional decisions based on emotional responses. Always know what your goal is when dealing with someone, and what exact problem you are trying to solve. Everyone makes mistakes, and yelling at them just makes them resent you and become defensive. Being calm and understanding will make people look up to you.
"You know you're an adult when you can be right without proving the other person wrong."
I was having a bad day one time and being all "Why me?" when a coworker said "Why not you?". I had never thought about it before, but it was a good point. So I shut up and got over it.
The first female leader of the Cherokee Nation came to my college campus years ago. She gave a speech, talking about how her life had been formed by always striving for more, never turning away from the challenge. Her advice was simple: "Go where the fear is" -Wilma Mankiller. When confronted with two roads I always choose what scares me more.
There is no harder, only hard.
Helped me to realize that it doesn't matter if someone's problems are bigger or smaller than mine. At some point, everyone goes through the hardest thing they've ever had to deal with.
"You're going to die one day. We all are. Do everything you want to do. Don't wind up on your death bed one day thinking of all the things you didn't do because assholes might have an asshole opinion about it. They're just jealous anyways."
~ My grandpa at 89 years old; a few months before he died 12 years ago.
And that's the real quote. It was on video.
In an episode of Louie he tells one of his daughters, "The only time you should look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure he has enough." I'm sure Louis CK didn't invent that on his own, but it was the first time I'd heard it, and it's stuck with me.
"It's only embarrassing if you're embarrassed." Changed my life forever.
8 Embarrassing Times People Didn't Realize They Were Talking To Tony Hawk, And It Escalated Hilariously
Prison Break Star Says 'It Hurt To Breathe' After Seeing This Fat-Shaming Meme Of Him, Stuns Fans With Response
Internet Can't Believe This Amputee Soldier Would Respond Like This To Muslim Man 'Blowing Him Up'
Mom Mocks Dirty Man At Store In Front Of Her Daughter, So He Reveals His True Identity
49 Hilarious Times People Beat The System In Ways Nobody Expected