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There are a lot of things they don't teach us in school. Like how to do taxes, care for our mental health, and basic first aid. These are all very important and necessary skills, but there are also some facts about life that would make it a lot easier if we had known them from the time we start adulting.

One netizen was curious to know what some of these facts are, so she asked: "What is a hard truth that you believe should be taught early on in life?" And people came armed with all kinds of wisdom. From quoting fictional characters to sharing their own experiences, people didn't shy away from sharing insights they have learned throughout their lives.

Bored Panda reached out to the author of this thread, u/Flufferfluff. She kindly agreed to tell us more about why she decided to start this discussion. We also chatted with her about whether we can be taught hard truths or we must experience them to know them. Read our conversation below!

#1

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier What freedom of speech really means.

Just because you *can* say it, doesn't mean you're free from the repercussions of it.

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RabidChild
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Also, you're free to speak your mind, but no one is obligated to provide you a stage from which to speak or even listen to what you say.

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#2

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier You can think someone is strange without being rude or violent to them. Some people are unusual and that's okay.

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HurlWurk
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Being unusual or weird or queer, etc, does not mean someone is wrong or broken or abnormal. Normal is often not one single thing, normal can be a spectrum of things, some of those things very infrequent.

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#3

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier You can be the kindest person ever & people will still hate you.

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Sue Denham
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And when that happens it's not necessarily about you. Often it's a them thing.

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Redditor u/Flufferfluff was bitten by the curiosity bug one day, that's why she decided to ask other netizens about life's hard truths. "I wanted to see what others thought the next generations should be taught during the course of their lives to make life just a bit easier for them," she told us.

"I asked this question in particular because I wanted the opportunity to gather everyone together to see what they think younger people could be taught early on in life." The Redditor's mother also is a big influence on her. She's a mindful living and contentment coach, and owner of Insightful Connections. "She's amazing, seriously," the Redditor gushes.

#4

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Bad things happen to good people.

Good things happen to bad people.

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Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As long as these two paradigms are in the minority, we're, as a whole, doing OK. When bad things happen more often to good people than bad people, that's oppression. When Good things happen to bad people on the regular, that's corruption.

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#5

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier “It is possible to make no mistakes and still lose.” Jean-Luc Picard.

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Alexandra
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes, because, in the last analysis, you have only very limited control over your life.

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#6

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier People will judge you based on your looks.

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Alexandra
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's true. At the same time you should be aware of the fact that you do so and realise that looks can be very deceptive.

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We asked u/Flufferfluff what her answer in this thread would be. "The hardest truth I believe should be taught early on in life is that you are your own hero," she told us. "I believe young people should be taught this because we are in control of our futures and what we can do with it."

"Life isn't a Disney movie (I wish it was though) so you can't sing a ballad and bam! Your dreams are a reality. You have to work for them," the netizen adds. Although she's still young, she says she's learned a hard truth or two already. "A hard truth I had to learn the hard way was that not every friend you make has good intentions. It was a tough one!"

#7

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier No one will care more about you than you. Know thyself and start advocating for yourself early on. Watch after your health, the people you surround yourself with, your job, it’s all going to affect you so much. Also, don’t try to find happiness through your partner. Have your own hobbies and joy, add them to your party. Don’t make them responsible for it ❤️.

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Bols
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You are the only person you spend 24/7 with so learn to like this person you can't escape :)

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#8

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier You will be lied to, and you will believe it. It happens to everyone.

But the most insidious liar in your life will likely be you. You will lie to yourself, and you'll believe it, because you know exactly what kind of b******t you will believe, and you *want to* believe it.

Just one cookie.

He'd never cheat.

I'm sober enough to drive.

My boss can't do without me.

I'll be fine on 2 hours sleep

12 cookies, he might, no you're not, he'll still fire you, and no you won't.

Nobody can lie to you like you can. Be wary.

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Joshua Seaman
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't believe the stories you tell yourself, especially in times of sadness or depression.

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#9

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier That you will one day die and that's the end of your consciousness, so you should make the most of the time you have. So many people waste their lives on religious nonsense when they could be happy instead.

EDIT: The fact that religious people downvote this while providing NO rebuttal just proves me right.

EDIT 2: Again, see how this is getting downvoted with no logical argument that I'm wrong? This proves my point.

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Child of the Stars
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know *plenty* of non-religious people who are deeply unhappy. Religion doesn't have a monopoly on unhappiness and human suffering, and it's disingenuous to act like it does.

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People say that wisdom comes with experience. So do we learn about life's truths from hearing about them, or is going through them actually the best way to learn? The Redditor thinks it's probably the latter. "While I believe it is possible to teach someone that 'Bad things happen to good people,' I believe we can best learn through experience. Experience can be learned from and eventually taught, too," she adds.

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#10

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier The HR department at any company is not on your side.

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Paul C.
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It varies, they have the companies best interests at heart but that does not mean that they can't be friendly and even handed with you. As in everything your own judgement of people is paramount. In the twenty years I worked for a company with an HR department they had a turnaround of about ten people, with four or five employed at any one time. A couple were just the nicest people you could meet. four or five, nice, and a couple I would trust as far as I could throw them.

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#11

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Adults aren't always right, and they're often as confused and clueless as you are.

This includes your parents, so seek second and third opinions when planning any significant life choices.

Older doesn't automatically mean wiser.

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Nimitz
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was 35 when I realized everyone, everyone, EVERYONE is just making it up as they go along. Some try harder than others, but we're all just trying to figure it out as we go

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#12

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier That you can’t actually be whatever you want in life.

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Valek Fermiga
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4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Finance's, education, circumstances, who you know ( it's true, we all know it ) all play a part of that, you may be want to be a cop for instance, however, if you're colourblind, you can't ( UK ) so that statement is true, up to a point....

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Despite this thread's pretty heavy subject matter, u/Flufferfluff is very optimistic. "I think that, despite the hard truths we all have to learn in our lives, it's important to encourage and inspire the younger generations that they can get through any and all hard times, as long as they put in the work!"

#13

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier You are no more special than the billions of other people in the world. They all have their own stories just like you do.

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#14

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier The basics of money management. Because throughout your life, money matters. It influences every aspect of your life. MONEY MANAGEMENT! if you do not have much, you should be able to manage it! If you have a lot, you should be able to manage it.

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#15

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Life is mostly about picking up least worst options rather than picking the best option.

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UncleJohn3000
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just once in my life I'd like to vote for a presidential candidate instead of against one.

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#16

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Your teachers at school are paid to tolerate and humour you.

In the real world, people will not be.

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Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

LOL I had a principal who paddled me and locked me in a supply closet. My teachers sucked. Thank god kids today are treated better than I was.

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#17

If you wouldn’t take someone’s advice, why take their criticism?

Edit to clarify: I mean this in reference to a specific individual. For example, bullying. I mean this to say you wouldn’t go to the bully for advice, their words don’t hold value, they aren’t trustworthy. So if you wouldn’t take their advice, why internalize their criticism?
Same could be said for a hyper-critical parent or family member.

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J9
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow I never thought of it this way, great advice 👍

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#18

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Wear a helmet.
If there are helmets made for what your going to do , there is a very good reason.
So use that knowledge to your advantage and wear one.

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Paul C.
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm 70, when I was sixteen a guy knocked me off my Lambretta Scooter, I was only doing twenty tops. Helmet had a gouge out of it, 9 inches long about a quarter of an inch deep, down the side. The injury would have stretched from the top of my head to the middle of my jaw. I just came away with a couple of bruises. Wear your helmet!

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#19

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Keep your word.Your word is your law. If you don't have integrity, you are nothing,.

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#20

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier There is always, always something you don't know.

About people, about situations, about everything.

If you knew that thing, it might make all the difference in your opinions.

Also, don't trust your snap judgements.

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Child of the Stars
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And no matter how much you know or how good you are at something, there's always going to be someone who knows more or is better than you.

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#21

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier The people you trust the most may be the ones that hurt you the most.

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J9
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4 weeks ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This hit home, especially if the ones you trusted are family members 😔

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#22

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Not making a decision is a decision.

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LaserBrain
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!" - Rush (Neil Peart, lyricist). From the song Free Will, album Permanent Waves, one of the greatest rock albums of all time in my opinion.

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#23

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier You will meet people who won’t like you but that’s okay.

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#24

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Prettier people have easier lives in almost every conceivable way.

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Nimitz
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's absolutely true. At my workplace we had a cis-het short blond girl who sat around doodling and not working most of the day. The cis-het men in the office fawned over her and let her get away with it. But we had a neuro-divergent trans girl who wasn't traditionally attractive that would finish her work and then relax. The trans girl was fired for being lazy. The cis girl was promoted and given mentorship to "greater realize her potential". Many people only care if you're pretty and "normal". I sat near both of them and have access to the metrics. The trans girl did literally 5x the work of the cis

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#26

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier The way you treat your body now will affect how you feel decades from now. Poor diet, not exercising, not sleeping enough, performing dangerous activities without taking safety precautions, etc. will eventually catch up with you and make your life miserable.

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#27

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Actions/choices have consequences. Own the consequences.

Also

S**t happens.

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Papa
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep. One big indication of emotional maturity is accepting the consequences of our actions.

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#28

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Healing doesn’t have to be so sudden and complete

Its okay to move on while still having that void.

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#29

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier You can't always get what you want, even if you say please.

I'm a preschool teacher and even though we teach kids that sharing is good, we also teach them that if you are not finished with something, you don't have to let someone else use it. And vice versa, you gotta wait your turn, and sometimes you don't even get a turn. That's life.

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#30

You aren't entitled to anything. I see too often people who think they are the main character and should be pandered to.

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Michael Largey
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I may be the main character in my life, but the dressing room I've been assigned does not reflect that.

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#31

Wear sunscreen.

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Child of the Stars
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For the love of God, PLEASE wear sunscreen. And a wide-brimmed hat. And clothes that cover your skin.

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#32

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier I don’t know if this is necessarily a “hard truth”, but I feel that it’s an important one. I’ll do my best to explain it.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own experience, and feel like no one has ever felt the way you do, or could possibly have it worse.

But then you see others enduring circumstances much worse than yours: illness, suffering, unimaginable tragedy. And you may feel guilty, for having self pity when others in the world are having an objectively more difficult time.

You can hold two seemingly opposing ideas in your mind at the same time: yes, their situation is horrible, but in its own way, yours is, too.

Everyone has a right to their own experience. There is no gatekeeping “awful”. That’s not to say you should let your problems be a crutch, but it’s also doing yourself a disservice to say how you feel doesn’t matter. Feel it fully, and then move on. Have compassion for yourself as well as others.

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Sebastián Rodríguez
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The fact that someone has it worse doesn't make your problems less important. And, the fact that someone has it better doesn't make your happiness less deserved. You have a right to be happy and to be sad. Both are part of life.

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#33

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier No matter how good you are at your job, the ‘company” itself doesn’t love you, and you have to do what’s best for you. I’ve spent too many years feeling like I couldn’t leave because my boss was great and I loved my job. But at the end of the day the company will survive without you. And if there are opportunities that will make your life more fulfilling, you can’t stay just to make others happy.

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Michael Largey
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My father worked for a major corporation for over 25 years and suddenly died. The corporation took his pension and put it in its pocket, telling my mother "Sorry, mam, you have to live to collect a pension." They can't do that today because of what companies call "Intrusive government regulations." Pickpockets, pimps, and pushers resent government interference in their professions as well. And for the same reason.

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#34

It’s always okay to try and fail

Atleast you had the courage to try rather than to sit back.

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Sofia
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"who nevers fails never did anything" (tuscan saying) ["chi 'un fa 'un falla" in tuscan]

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#35

Assume that nobody, not even closest family will be there for your in the toughest of times. It’ll save a lot of disappointment later and help you find who the real ones who care for you are.

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Data1001
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4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

An addendum: Also realize that even the people who are there for you will have their limits. (I found this out when I lost my job a few years back, and had to bounce around a bit because I hit those limits with a few family members and friends.) But that's fine. If the tables were turned, you'd probably be the same. So be grateful for what you get, even if it's not as much as what you were hoping for.

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#36

Many people in our society are terrible. Someone being nice does not mean they are a “good” person. Never count on people to do the right thing. Most people will go with the crowd over doing the right thing. 

Anyone can be flipped against you and most likely it will the people closest to you that you trust the most. 

Blood does not mean family. 

Most of your friends are not really your friends. .

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OpheliaPoe
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The last part I'd modify to say, "Learn the difference between friends and acquaintances." There's nothing wrong with someone "just" being an acquaintance but don't place friend level expectations on them. Also, some people are there for a phase of life and then the friendship fades as situations, locations, people, etc... change/grow. That's okay too. It doesn't necessarily mean they weren't a friend.

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#37

Life is not fair, and you have no right to expect it to be fair.

Trust is earned in drops and lost in buckets.

People who are good with money tend to have better lives than people who are terrible with money. Financial stability will lead to a smoother life with fewer obstacles. I've seen good marriages ruined over money issues.

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Michael Largey
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

People who are good with "X" tend to have better lives than people who are terrible with "X. Being good at something is usually better than being terrible at it.

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#38

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier It would be nice if some effort was made to teach the younger kids how to deal with the inevitable death of their parents and other elder loved ones. It happens to most of us, but some earlier than others.

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Jed
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We've isolated and insulated ourselves from death. People died at home more often, then had viewings or the like at home, and were sometimes even buried on the homestead. Now its hospitals and the predatory funeral home industry.

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#39

People don’t stop cheating and being dishonest just cause they are adult. Especially at work. Hard work doesn’t get rewarded, it’s whoever is liked best by management that will get the promotion not who deserves it. Also a lot of big companies don’t have their s**t together and still make a profit. You can be a small clerk and realise how incompetent all the people above you are. It’s frustrating.

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Nimitz
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not only this, but watch out for pink/green/rainbow/inclusiveness washing at work. They will use the "affirmed company values" that they display on the website/employee handbook as a way to claim they are inclusive. But at the end of the day, they will promote their buddies over anyone who doesn't look/act like them

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#40

My son just played real Blackjack and Ultimate Texas Holdem in a casino. He's studied the odds and played on apps and was convinced he'd win a bundle. He lost both nights.

I'm glad he lost. Had he won, he would be chasing and expecting that the rest of his life.

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#41

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Making a situation fair isn't the same as making a situation better.

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Steve Hall
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fair does not mean "all things equal", fair means "all things considered".

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#42

If you constantly get upset over someone who refuses to change, you also refuse to change.

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#43

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Regret is pointless. Learn and move on.

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Jay Scales
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If only it were that easy - there are some regrets that weld themselves to the heart.

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#44

50 Hard Truths People Learned Later In Life That They Believe They Should've Been Told About Earlier Sometimes violence IS the answer.

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SkippityBoppityBoo
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4 weeks ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The night my ex boyfriend attacked me? Leaving me disabled for life etc, I had done nothing to him btw first, not physically or verbally, he started it out of nowhere......... I fought back. I bit his ankle just after he had stomped, kicked etc me and then I reached up and pulled and twisted his balls hard. He had loose jeans on. His scream from that? I still hear it sometimes in nightmare dreams but it's the most satisfying sound that I keep hold of. Those were the only two things I physically did in retaliation that night.... And I'm glad that I did.

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#45

Being correct and being right are not always the same thing.

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Garth
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4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"If I was wrong.. wouldn't I know it?" - Sheldon Cooper...The Big Bang Theory

#46

Eventually, all our graves go unattended. Don’t take life so serious.

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#47

Use things and love people - not the other way around.

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#48

My Grandfather had a saying: “You can always tell a man that hasn’t had the s**t knocked out of him”.

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Nimitz
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4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Modern context: you can always tell if someone's worked in a restaurant or not

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#49

A) If you don't take ownership of your life, other people will take that ownership for you. And on average they will make the choices for you that are to their benefit, and not to yours. Letting yourself be weak is not a good thing.

B) To the extent that you reject the parts of yourself you are ashamed of, or find hard to acknowledge, they will own your fate.

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Michael Largey
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4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have ownership of my life principally because there have been no other takers.

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#50

Nothing is free.

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Data1001
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4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or, as the author Robert Heinlein said, "TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)."

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