There are so many life lessons that occasionally, some are easily forgotten. How often do you have to restrain yourself from adopting a teacher tone with friends and family? It’s a sad fact of life that many adults need talking to as if they were children and that the teacher in the room is frequently the one to correct them. While it is forgivable that the average person forgets what an oxymoron is or how to do quadrilateral equations, here are some of the things we teach children that are equally applicable to the adults around us…
Kindness costs nothing
You can have a first-class degree in Business or be chairman of the board but that doesn’t make you a good person. An adult fixation with money (understandable when there’s a mortgage to be paid and you’re now the one giving out pocket money) blinds too many to the fact that kindness costs nothing. This is a lesson emblazoned on school rules posters nationwide but is so frequently forgotten that we should probably get some printed for workplaces up and down the country.
If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online
Open forums such as Facebook and Twitter are basically the modern equivalent of the wild west: a lawless frontier where barroom brawls have been reinvented as keyboard spats. And because it would be embarrassing to still be playing cowboys in real life, this is where the would-be sheriffs go to trade insults and assert their authority. The name-calling on the typical social media thread puts playground abuse to shame. Listen people: your own schooldays pre-dating the advent of social media does not excuse your infantile behaviour. You might not have sat through countless online safety and ‘netiquette’ lessons but we’ve doubtless all heard the line, “What would your grandma say if she heard you talking like that?!” Same applies here.
Check your facts
Linked to the above, we’re apparently living in the age of fake news, where a funny yet entirely fabricated meme holds as much weight as expert opinion and respected journalism. Remember those days when Wikipedia wasn’t the font of all knowledge and homework/essays/dissertations etc had to be researched and corroborated from a range of resources? It might have been a pain in comparison to the click of a button in between receiving a notification and sharing it but it turns out all that tedious legwork was actually a pretty good life lesson about verifying our facts.
Plagiarism is prohibited
And while we’re on the subject of academic discipline, how many reminders are required that copying is cheating? Just because no-one’s marking your social media posts doesn’t make it permissible to rip-off somebody else’s ingenious or witty idea and pass it off as your own. And chances are, you will be caught out when it’s shared widely by others so best to give credit where it’s due. On a more heinous level, piracy is neither big nor clever and you’ve no more place being a fully-grown pirate than you have a cowboy.
Students are ticked off for coming late to class but when a friend routinely leaves us kicking our heels or looking lonesome in a coffee shop their tardiness is too easily passed off as a personality quirk. Phones are the cause of many student late marks but they can be the saviour of friendships if they’re picked up in time and used to warn of or explain a lateness. And be warned, sanctions will be applied for unauthorised lates, even if it’s just a simple “Drinks are on you!”
Is there anything we’ve missed? What forgotten life lessons do you think need revising?
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