The daily lessons
1. When someone smiles at you.
Lesson: You realize it really is the little things in life that make a difference.
2. When you smile at someone.
Lesson: You just sparked something.
3. When someone holds a door for someone.
Lesson: Chivalry is not dead.
4. When someone gives up their seat on the bus or subway.
Lesson: There is hope for the human race.
5. When you see a beggar or homeless person.
Lesson: Things could always be worse.
The growing up lessons
1. Moving out of your parent’s house for the first time (most likely during college years).
Lesson: You learn curfews were cheaper than bills and free food was better than fast food every day.
2. Moving back in with your parents.
Lesson: There’s no shame in backtracking a little, and parents are the most understanding, least judgmental people because they’ve been there.
3. Moving away from your hometown (not including college).
Lesson: It’s harder for the people you left behind than it ever will be for you.
4. Starting your first ‘real’ job
Lesson: You’ll have to work a lot of menial positions to get where you want to be in life.
5. When you quit your first ‘real’ job.
Lesson: You won’t let a paycheck control your dreams and ambitions and ramen noodles never tasted so liberating.
6. The first time you cheat, try a drug or sleep with a stranger.
Lesson: Ok, so you did something you said you’d never do. It’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t define you.
7. Getting your college diploma.
Lesson: The easiest part of your life just ended. .
8. When you leave the country for the first time.
Lesson: You’ll learn how close-minded you still are and how different the world truly is. You’ll learn the struggles and victories of others have different definitions and meanings in other places of the world.
9. When you admit your opinions.
Lesson: This is when you learn that it is ok to have opinions different from everyone else and yours are not right or wrong. Also, that honest is better for the people around you, as well as yourself.
10. When you learn to love yourself.
Lesson: Nothing in life will hold you back now. You are you and no opinion, words spoken or stares given will change who you are and who you desire to be. This is when you learn to be confident regardless.
The life lessons
1. Taking that step of commitment in a relationship or life-altering decision.
Lesson: Prove you don’t have commitment issues.
2. Moving on from a major commitment because you failed.
Lesson: You tried. Failing is irrelevant.
3. Moving on from that commitment for general reasons.
Lesson: Getting that first time out of the way prepares you for the next part of your journey.
4. The first time you lose someone close to you, be it death or simply separation.
Lesson: To cherish moments and encounters with every human in your life. This is cliché, but it only sinks in that first time. Not your first funeral but the first time it really strikes your soul.
5. The next time and all times after that when you lose someone close to you.
Lesson: You realize life is a bitch, this will keep happening and the only option we have in life is to live because we truly only have one life.
6. When you forgive someone.
Lesson: Letting go is harder than you ever expected, but you can now live your life peacefully.
7. When someone forgives you.
Lesson: Trust is capable of being regained.
8. When your heart gets broken.
Lesson: Your mouth becomes a bowel movement and your thoughts seem uncontrollable and you realize how weak and pathetic you can be. But eventually you’ll learn how much stronger and wiser you became.
9. When you break someone’s heart.
Lesson: You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
10. When you apologize and mean it.
Lesson: You’ll learn that thinking before you speak or act is a vital choice in sustaining any relationship. Also forgiveness doesn’t always come easy.
11. When someone apologizes to you and means it.
Lesson: You’ll learn it is as easy to forget, as it is to forgive.
12. When you choose to be selfish.
Lesson: The only person you have to fear disappointing is yourself, and some days that’s harder than disappointing others.
13. When you no longer make choices, but you make decisions.
Lesson: You’re learning to make commitments, no matter how big, far-fetched or serious they may be. You’re in all senses of the word growing up.
14. When you’re given a second chance.
Lesson: You learn to let go of fear and not let it stand in your way again.
15. When you try again.
Lesson: It won’t be the last time you start over, and that’s ok. You’re trying and that’s more than some people can say.