1. “Be kind or be quiet” – Richard Speight Jr.
2. Use your judgement about thing number one. One person’s kindness is another man’s condescension. If in doubt, keep your mouth shut. Or ask.
3. If you have the means to help someone in need, then help them, regardless of how they came to be in that situation.
4. Retail, hospitality, and service workers deserve your kindness and respect. Especially during the holiday season. They do a hard (and necessary) job with very little reward.
5. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius.
6. Question everything. The media, the government, and even ordinary citizens. Don’t assume that because something sounds plausible or because it comes from someone with authority, that it’s true. Do your research, find reliable sources of your own, and make up your own mind.
7. “Compassion is the ultimate manifestation of strength” – Hank Green.
8. Voting is an important part of being an active citizen of a democracy.
9. If in doubt, wash everything at the lowest temperature possible. Just in case. No one wants shrunken underwear.
10. It’s okay to just be you; life isn’t a race or a competition.
11. Practice really does make perfect. And 25-year-old me wishes that 10-year-old me had applied this to learning the piano.
12. Sometimes you just have to breathe.
13. “Imagine others complexly” – John Green.
14. Use your words. People aren’t mind readers.
15. Always get the train before the one you need (especially during rush hour). Just in case.
16. It’s okay to be angry or sad. It’s not okay to take it out on other people.
17. It’s also okay to ask for and accept help from others.
18. Immigrants (in Britain and the USA) pay taxes, even if they aren’t a citizen, assuming that they earn enough money to do so. This is the same for anyone who is a citizen.
19. “Be nicer than you think you should be, be kinder than you have to be, and be better than anyone thinks you can be” – Richard Speight Jr.
20. Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean that you should say it.
21. Never read the comments section.
22. “A problem derails your life and an inconvenience is not being able to get a nice seat on the un-derailed train” – Carrie Fisher.
23. You can wear what you want, when you want. That means anything and everything, from a hoodie and jeans to a full face of make-up and high heels.
24. Not all illness can be seen. Never make assumptions about someone; their suffering and/or scars may not all be on the surface.
25. You won’t always be the bigger person, but it’s a good thing to try.