My dad has only ever given me two pieces of advice (he’s not much of an advice giver). They are:
1) You can’t change people. A corollary to this piece of advice is, as he always put it, "fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke;" and
2) Always spend less money than you make.
Growing up, I always thought that these were relatively simple pieces of advice. Perhaps they are.
But, as I’ve grown older and as I’ve recently begun to think about what advice I would give to my own son, I seen them in a new light. In fact, I’m not sure that I could improve on them.
The fact is, you can’t change people. On the micro level, you’ll be much happier if you accept the people around you for who they are. Sure, they’ll do annoying shit, but you’re not going to be able to change their behavior. If you try, you’ll only end up upsetting yourself more. If you roll with it, you might even learn to enjoy it. On the macro level, most of the world’s problems seem to be caused by one group of people who want to change another group of people – from trying to turn poor immigrants into average American homeowners to trying to turn Afghans into law-abiding democrats.
The corollary is also worth addressing. I’ve yet to meet someone that doesn’t have a sense of humor about himself that is worth my time.
Most of the rest of the world’s problems seem to be caused by people (or states) spending more money than they make. I don’t think he would care if I didn’t make much money, but regardless of how much I made, he would have been upset if I spent too much. In other words, if I made $50 and only spent $30, he’d be fine with that. He simply can’t understand how people don’t save money – regardless of their income.
Of course this advice is hopelessly reactionary these days. You’re a fool to not want "change" or to not take advantage of incredibly low interest rates to borrow as much money as some retard is willing to lend you. The most popular lifestyle among my peers is to go deep into debt while working to change poor people. Unsurprisingly it never works.