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The Best Real-Life Examples Of 'You Can Have A PhD And Still Be An Idiot'

Reddit user mariababexoxo asked: '"Never confuse education with intelligence; you can have a PhD and still be an idiot," stated Richard Feynman. What are some real-life examples of this?'

test tubes
Talha Hassan on Unsplash

The saying "it's not brain surgery" hasn't meant the same thing to me ever since Ben Carson took his place on the national stage.

The saying "it's not rocket science" doesn't hit the same with me ever since one of my life-long friends became a rocket scientist.

I don't know Ben Carson—just his many public blunders—but in the case of my friend, he's an absolutely brilliant guy.

However I often wonder how my friend managed to survive this long and apparently this isn't an unusual phenomenon.

But more about my friend later at the end of this article.


Reddit user mariababexoxo asked:

"'Never confuse education with intelligence; you can have a PhD and still be an idiot,' stated Richard Feynman. What are some real-life examples of this?"

Chemical Engineer

"I had an intern with a PhD once. She was trying to be a chemical process engineer. VERY book smart."

"I spent the Summer teaching her how to use basic tools like screwdrivers and wrenches for simple tasks like opening containers and adjusting clamps. She had zero practical skills and couldn’t figure anything whatsoever out on her own."

"She’d get lost in a building and call me and I’d tell her to find the exit, but she’d get lost inside and we’d have to go in and get her. This routinely happened, and she would just find somewhere random and sit until we collected her."

"When her car’s GPS lost signal once she didn’t know what to do so she stopped in the middle of the road and texted me where she was and that there was something wrong with her car and to come help. I figured there was a breakdown or something based on the text and drove out to check on it because she wasn’t responding."

Space GPS GIF by LumiGiphy

"She was crying sitting on the side of the road and a cop was yelling at her to move her car which was still in the lane."

"If you told her to pick something up from a store she’d ask where it was and if you didn’t know, she would never find it "She refused to ask an employee because she knew they weren’t as smart as she was."

"She’d just walk in random directions looking for things. For example if you said 'go to Walmart and find some work boots because you lost yours' she would send me pictures of random aisles in Walmart with 'is this close? which way from here?'.”

"Book smart but utterly dim."

~ captainofpizza

It's The Milk That Makes Them Healthy

"My wife once had a roommate who was working on her PhD."

"At one point she went on an Oreo diet because they're vegan."

"She was later surprised to find her health wasn't improving."

~ educational_palmeira

OREO GIFGiphy

Squirrel!

"I am a graduate student at the University of Oxford."

"I recently had to explain to another grad student the concept of animals hibernating. She's British and English is her first language, so it wasn't a vocabulary issue. She just didn't know that animals did that."

"When I explained it she said 'Oh! like squirrels!' Squirrels actually don't hibernate, but I just nodded."

~ slider501

Have You Tried Turning It Off...

"Ask literally anyone who's ever worked for a university's IT department. I've never met a group of people more unwilling to learn anything new—outside of their small specialization—than university professors."

"These people would rather argue with you for 10 minutes that 'I did restart my computer' than just spend the 2 minutes to restart the computer when the logistics software is showing the machine with a 45 day uptime and all of us can see that sh*t."

"Department heads do this."

~ Mammoth_Clue_5871

It Crowd GIFGiphy

It's One Banana, Michael

"My roommate in college was/is an academic genius, 35 ACT in med school right now."

"I brought him to Walmart with me because he wanted to buy an 8-pack of Gatorade. At the self checkout he scanned one, saw the price was 7 bucks, and decided that must have been the price for EACH Gatorade."

"He ended up scanning the pack 7 more times and paid 56 bucks for some Gatorade, all while thinking that was a fair price."

~ Royal-Character-2035

And Vampirism!

"The nurse I used to work with during the pandemic was constantly bragging about how rich and important and highly educated she was.

"Only for her to suggest to our director of nursing that the kitchen start putting extra garlic in everyone's meals because garlic cures COVID."

~ GlassPeepo

vampire GIFGiphy

History ≠ Geography

"I know someone with a PhD in History who went to the Caribbean with only long trousers and jumpers/sweaters to wear."

"He was so hot he had to cut his jeans down to shorts."

"Then, as part of the same trip, he went to Washington DC, and had to wear jean shorts the whole time because he cut up all his trousers."

~ RexEverything_

And On The 7th Day...

"I met a PhD molecular biologist who was an evolution denier. I found out years later that he was somewhat infamous."

~ whittlingcanbefatal

"I’ve met two PhD students who worked on bacterial evolution and one who worked in biochemistry."

"All three believed that human evolution was not a thing, all three were religious."

~ D-g-tal-s_purpurea

Creationism GIFGiphy

Nobel Disease

"Nobel Disease."

"There are a ton of laureates that go conspiratorial batsh*t later in life."

~ hacktheself

"Kary Mullis is the worst one and he really emboldens other conspiracy theorists."

"He won the Nobel prize for helping invent the PCR test... then he denied AIDS existed while in a government position leading to 330,000 deaths and said climate change wasn't real because his astrologer told him so."

"Oh, and ghosts."

"Anti-vaxxers love him."

~ AstonVanilla

Members Around The World

"Heard about a mechanical engineer who is a flat earther."

"So yeah, him, or any engineer, physicist, or astronomer that believes in that."

"The fact that a single one can get their degree and then turn around years later and believe in something fundamentally incompatible with the BASIC physics required to make sense of their degree is baffling."

~ QuanticWizard

flat Earth GIFGiphy

What Did They Do With The Couch?

"Helped some mates move house. One was a Uni Student doing a double degree in Computer Science and something else very challenging."

"While we were packing boxes he asked if he could could borrow a saw. When I asked why, it was so he could shorten the legs on the dining table so it would fit out the door."

"The look on his face when I grabbed one of the legs and started unscrewing it was priceless. As was the look when I asked him how he thought they got it in the room in the first place."

~ cruiserman_80

New-Fangled Gadgets

"In my old university in Germany in the early 2000s. The university was old, really old."

"And when I started they just began modernising the lecture halls etc... The German department got a new, fancy, state of the art lecture hall with any kind of technology you could wish for."

"The professors got extensive training on how to use it."

"There were some of them who after three months still didn’t know how to switch on the lights. Don’t even talk about the microphone or how to open and close the blinds on the skylight."

They didn’t originally plan on having an old-fashioned overhead projector there, but after a few weeks they relented and provided one because the professors didn’t know any other way."

"In their defence, the other lecture halls were so old that they still had the hole for the ink well in the tables."

~ moosmutzel81

overhead projector GIFGiphy

Do No Harm

"I work in mental health and have known sooo many healthcare professionals with advanced degrees who I wouldn’t trust to take care of a goldfish and can’t believe counsel people on a regular basis."

~ DeadSharkEyes

What's That Burning Smell?

"My MIT PhD. friend complained his dryer was taking forever to dry his clothes."

"I asked him if he was cleaning the lint trap—'it doesn't have one'."

"Spoiler alert: it did have one, way in the back and I took out a sweater's worth of lint."

~ arbiterror

dryer lint GIFGiphy

It's Not Rocket Science...

I chuckle whenever someone uses this saying to indicate something isn't complex like rocket science ever since my friend became an aeronautical engineer.

Why?

Well, we'd have to go back to the mid-1980s when we were both teenagers in high school. As many teens with cars in rural America did, my friends liked to drive around on the back roads as a form of entertainment.

One sunny, Summer day two of my friends came to visit me with a tale to tell.

It seems they were driving on a stretch of road with a speed limit of 35mph [56kph] because of a cluster of homes and farms. When the car slowed to this speed, Mr. Future Rocket Scientist looked down at the pavement passing by below his window on the passenger side.

Upon studying the passing blacktop for several moments, he came to the conclusion he could easily run as fast as the car was moving, so...

...he undid his seatbelt, opened the car door and STEPPED OUT of the moving car.

According to the driver, one moment our friend was sitting next to him and the next he was gone. Or mostly gone.

After a brief moment of panic during which he slowed then stopped the car, he noticed Mr. Future Rocket Scientist's right hand gripping the door's armrest and his left hand gripping the side of the passenger seat.

He was probably only dragged for a few seconds which wasn't long enough to do more than scuff up his jeans, jean jacket and the toes of his shoes.

He escaped with only minor road rash and a few bruises.

After the driver told me what happened from his perspective, Mr. Future Rocket Scientist interjected:

"It worked!"
"I was doing really well until I tripped over that rock."

Luckily an understanding of things like velocity, speed, trajectory, friction, drag, inertia and gravity aren't needed for aeronautics.

facepalm GIF by HULUGiphy

Needless to say, we've never let him forget his "experiment."

He still claims the only problem was that rock on the road.

And I now use the saying "it's not rocket surgery" instead of either of the original sayings.

People Reveal Whether They Let Their Dog Sleep On Their Bed Or Not

Reddit user Piggythelavasurfer asked: 'Do you let your pet sleep in your bed? Why/why not?'

Dog lying down on a bed
Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

Not all pet owners have the same relationship with their pets.

While anyone who decides to become a pet owner, or pet parent as some say, love their pets equally, some never ever let them leave their side.

Taking their pet with them to work, running errands, even on vacations.

Many pet parents even allow their pets to share their bed with them when going to sleep.

For others though, this is where a line is finally drawn.

Redditor Piggythelavasurfer was curious to hear whether pet owners allowed their pets to share their bed with them, as well as the reasons why they do/don't, leading them to ask:

"Do you let your pet sleep in your bed? Why/why not?"

The Tiny Issue Of Water...

"Absolutely not."

"I have fish."- Senior-Meal3649

Everyone Gets Lonely Eventually...

"I adopted an eleven year old cat the day before Halloween."

"She has mostly lived in my closet since I got her, and she hasn’t been too interested in coming out."

"Last night, she came out of my closet and jumped up on my bed, and crawled under my covers and curled up by my feet to sleep."

"I was so happy!"- YellowBeastJeep

The Comforting Reminder That You're Not Alone...

"I recently lost my Greyhound but I used to let him sleep on my bed with me."

"The company was nice and he was no trouble to have on my bed."- HoodedMenace3

Hungry Cookie GIF by De Graafschap DierenartsenGiphy

What Do You Mean Allow?

"I have no choice."

"She is a cat, cats do whatever they want."- Small_cat1412

"He lets me sleep in my bed."- Poorly-Drawn-Beagle

Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

"I carry my old boy upstairs to bed every night."- worst_in_show

Hug GIF by The BarkPostGiphy

Who Needs An Alarm Clock?

"I let my two cats sleep with me."

"They're so full of love and just want cuddles all the time."

"And so do I."

"We've all developed a lil routine."

"Get to bed, oldest sleeps on my feet to keep them warm, youngest lies in my arm while I lie on my side (she the little spoon), then when I snooze my alarm for work in the morning the youngest paws at my face and meeps loudly to wake me up."- GhostofaFlea_

Whose Bed Is It Anyway?

"Yes."

"They're also kind enough to let me squeeze into whatever space they've left for me."

"Although I do get a few dirty looks off them."- Therealkaylor

"I found this tiny kitten screaming her head off under a car."

"Would not come out."

"Got some food and some water in dishes."

"I stood by the tire so she couldn't see my feet."

"She got curious about the food and water and started gobbling it down."

"I thought she would bolt when I squatted down."

"She was too busy eating."

"I grabbed her by the nape of the neck and all four legs went straight out and she tried to scratch me to death."

"I got her in the door and tossed her toward the couch."

"She ricocheted off the couch as if she was a ping pong off a table and I lost sight of her."

"I put out food and water and a sandbox and did not see that kitten for three days."

"On the third day, I came home and she was on my bed pillow."

"I thought she would bolt when I came near, but she didn't."

"I wanted to sleep so I tried to scoot her little butt off my pillow."

"She would not go."

"I put my head down to sleep and that is the way it was from then on."

"She ran the roost."- Logical_Cherry_7588

sleepy kitten GIFGiphy

Sleeping Is A Prerequisite...

"No, he's a cat and he cannot keep still during the night."

"He walks across the headboard, opens the closet doors, jumps into the windows and rustles the blinds, etc."

"If he would sleep he could stay, but alas, he's a ramblin' man."- Spong_Durnflungle

Saying No Just Isn't An Option...

"'Let'."

"Lol."

"It's a cat's world and I'm happy to be on her good side."- milaren

Felines Only!

"The cat does, the dog doesn't and the horse certainly does not either."- Xcrowzz

Angry Tom And Jerry GIF by Boomerang OfficialGiphy

Is That My Hair On That Pillow?

"My dog is perfect."

"She comes up, cuddles til we start to fall asleep, then gets down to sleep on her bed so she doesn't get too hot."

"Jumps back up in the early morning for wake up cuddles."

"The hair everywhere is the only downside but she is so cozy, what can you do."- HoodieWinchester

It is easy to understand how some people are able to fall asleep more easily knowing their friend and protector is there, in bed, with them.

Though we can't blame others who don't want to run the risk of being scratched or bitten in the middle of the night either...


Close up of an owl tilting their head to side, looking bewildered
Photo by Josh Mills

The old wives' tales.

They are the stories of legend.

I think we all need a big DEEP Google dive though.

Where did they originate?

WHO ARE THE OLD WIVES!

You don't hear about them as much anymore.

It's like science and logic are suddenly a thing.

But they sure are a good way to keep your kids and their behavior in line.

Redditor the_spring_goddess wanted to discuss the tall tales we've all been fed through life, so they asked:

"What is an old wives tale that people still believe?"

"Wait an hour to swim after eating."

What a crock!

So many summer hours wasted.

I want revenge for that one.

Say Nothing

Giphy

"An undercover cop has to tell you he's a cop if you ask him."

LonelyMail5115

"Pretty much most advice when it comes to cops are old wives tales. I’m not even a cop but most of the advice you hear is pretty off."

I_AM_AN_A**HOLE_AMA

Say Something

"That you have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing."

Severe_Airport1426

"I really think this one is important and should be the top regardless. As it’s a piece of advice that needs to be relearned and the only way to do that is through awareness."

crappycurtains

"This used to be true. I think they changed it after some guy named Brandon went missing back in the '80s or '70s. You used to have to wait 24 hours if the missing person was an adult because they had 'a right to be missing' and then everyone realized that was stupid and stopped doing it."

AlbinoShavedGorilla

Body Temps

"That drinking ice cold water after eating oily foods will solidify the oil and permanently remain in your body. I informed my coworker that if your body temperature ever reached that point, you’d have bigger problems than weight gain."

chriseo22

"Oh, I have a cousin who 100% believed this. One of those guys who believed every early 2000s internet rumor and old wives tale. One night I chugged a big glass of ice water after dinner and he started freaking out and saying my guts were gonna harden."

"I sarcastically told him to drive me to the hospital if that happened. Obviously, nothing happened and the next morning I said something like 'Thanks for being on standby in case my guts filled with hardened oil.' He just walked off muttering under his breath."

apocalypticradish

Arms Down

"When I was pregnant, I was told by young and old alike that I should NOT raise my arms above my head or exert myself in such a manner because it could cause cord strangulation to my unborn sons and daughters."

Fatmouse84

10 Years Actually

Unimpressed Uh Huh GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy

"Chewing gum stays in your stomach for 7 years."

REDDIT

"I remember accidentally swallowing a piece of gum when I was a kid in like 1995 and just accepting my fate like welp, gonna have this in my stomach til high school I guess."

Gecko-911

I was so afraid to sallow my gum when I was young.

This tale is haunting.

High/Low

Hungry Debra Messing GIF by Will & GraceGiphy

"You can tell the sex of the baby by how you carry."

LeastFormal9366

"Pregnancy certainly wins awards for the most old wives tales. So much absolute BS was repeated to us by everyone we talked to."

IllIIIlIllIlIIlIllI

The Cursed

"If you’re a woman and you wear opal jewelry but opal is not your birthstone (October), you’ll never be able to have children, or will be widowed, or just generally have bad luck or something. You can counteract this by having a diamond in the same piece of jewelry as the opal, though."

"I have a nice opal ring that my parents gave me years ago, and I’ve had other women give me this 'advice' unprompted more than once when I’ve worn it. I have absolutely no idea where it started, but I’m pretty sure this little chunk of silicate rock has no concept of what month I was born in, let alone of how my reproductive organs work."

SmoreOfBabylon

Stay In

"Going outside with wet hair will make you get pneumonia. Or an earache. Or maybe arthritis. Depends on which old wife you listen to."

"Jokes on them - I haven't blow-dried my hair in decades and usually leave the house with wet hair in the morning. On winter mornings, the tips of my hair get frozen. No ear infections or pneumonia or arthritis yet."

worldbound0514

Dreams and Facts

"You never make anyone up in your dreams you've seen everyone in your dreams somewhere else before and never make anyone up entirely."

"How would you possibly prove that to be true? My partner adamantly believes this and tells me this 'fact' whenever I have a dream about someone I've never met before."

mattshonestreddit

"My late wife used to tell me that before she met me she would have dreams of standing at an alter on her wedding day but could never see the guy's face, no matter how hard she tried. After meeting me the face was filled in with mine. Don't know if it's true but one of those things I like thinking of every now and then when I miss her."

Darthdemented

Cracked

Getting Ready Episode 2 GIF by The OfficeGiphy

"Some people still believe cracking knuckles causes arthritis."

Choice-Grapefruit-44

"There's a doctor (Donald Unger) that cracked his knuckles a couple of times a day for 60 years, but only on one hand, just to prove it. Both hands remained exactly the same."

MacyTmcterry

I love my knuckles.

Do you have any tall tales to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

lottery tickets
Erik Mclean on Unsplash

A lot of workers daydream about some day winning the lottery and being able to say goodbye to their job.

Far too many workers are unhappy with their job duties, workplace dynamics or company culture.

But with a taste for luxuries like housing and food, they keep plugging away, year after year.

However not everyone feels that way about their job.

So what are these compelling careers?

Keep reading...Show less
Therapist talking during session
Photo by Mark Williams on Unsplash

Some people stand firmly stand behind their beliefs that everyone would benefit from therapy and that therapy is life-changing.

It's because of the totally life-changing truth bombs their therapist had dropped during their sessions.

Curious, Redditor anonymiss0018 asked:

"What is a little bombshell your therapist dropped in one of your sessions that completely changed your outlook?"

Communication Issues

"'If you don’t have these problems with any other person in your life, why do you think you’re the problematic person in this one?'"

- maggiebear

"I love this. I have a 'friend' who I always seem to run into misunderstandings with. Every time we had a conversation, it somehow turned into a debate even if it was me talking about my day. The conversations were never easy."

"I always evaluate myself first and take into consideration his critiques. He was very good at convincing me that I was contradicting myself or wasn't good at communicating my thoughts."

"I NEVER had this issue with ANYONE else in my life. I kept trying to figure out where the miscommunication was coming from. In the end, I just minimized contact and now I don't run into this issue."

- chobani_yo

"I read this quote somewhere once (and probably have it a bit wrong): 'It's a waste of time arguing with someone who is determined to misunderstand you.'"

- Reddit

Emotional Regulation

"'You can’t control your emotions, but you can control what you do with them.'"

"At the time, I was a young adult who had learned zero healthy emotional regulation skills (only suppression and shaming) growing up, so this blew my mind."

- lil_mermaid

Tough Relationships

"'It sounds to me like you are trying to convince yourself to stay with your girlfriend. I'm not so sure it should be so difficult.'"

"At the time he said this, I remember it was like he said, 'The earth is flat.' I thought he was crazy when he suggested relationships don't need to be difficult. But eventually, I started to realize I was trying to change myself to stay with this person rather than just being who I am."

"It took me three more months to finally break up with her but from that day on, I vowed to never again abandon myself just to be with someone I had convinced myself was better than me."

- metric88

High-Stress Situation

"I was at a high-stress time, and I asked her how people live like this."

"She replied, 'Oftentimes they have cardiac events.' She said it as an urging to care for myself as much as possible."

- KittenGr8r

The End of Alcohol

"I was struggling with my alcoholism, and we were discussing how I had been cutting back."

"She asked what I would consider success, with regard to my drinking."

"I said I wanted to get to a point where it wasn't interfering with my daily life. I wanted to just be able to have a glass of wine at holiday dinners or family gatherings."

"She simply asked me why. Why was it important for me to drink at those times?"

"It was as if she'd turned on a light. Alcohol had always been a key ingredient in every family function, for my entire life. When I smell bourbon, I think of my uncle. When I smell vermouth, I think of my dad. Alcohol ran through almost every happy childhood memory."

"But, even more than that, I was very afraid of the explanation I'd have to give when family and friends asked why I wasn't having a drink. I had tried to quit before but failed. What if I admitted my problem, only to fall off the wagon?"

"When she asked why I didn't want to completely quit, it was the first time I saw that last part of the big picture. I'd be willing to drink myself to death in order to avoid being scrutinized, or judged for possible future failures."

"That was the day I quit. I've been sober since May 6th, 2017. 2,407 days."

- sophies_wish

Acceptance vs. Enjoyment

"'Accepting something doesn’t mean you have to like it.'"

"That took away a lot of my inner conflicts about situations because I could accept a situation without expending energy internally fighting against the injustice of it."

- alibelloc

Emotionally Immature Parents

"You are not responsible for your parents' emotional wellbeing. They are independent adults who have been on this earth for many more years than you."

- SmokedPears

Not So Lazy

"'Why do you think you're lazy?' Then she listed off all the things she knows I'm doing for my family, my job, and my life."

"It kind of blew my mind when I struggled to come up with an example."

"She also described family dysfunction as water. Some families are messed up in a way that everyone can see the huge waves across the surface. Others are better at hiding it, but there's still a riptide that you can't see unless you're also in the water."

"It made me realize that trying to keep the surface from ever rippling doesn't erase what is happening underneath."

- flybyknight665

The Harm in People-Pleasing

"'Why do you make people more comfortable when you are uncomfortable?' when talking about people pleasing and fawning."

- ERsandwich

Agree to Disagree

"'Stop trying to get everyone to agree. When you need everyone to agree, the least agreeable person has all the power.'"

This really changed my outlook on planning family events."

- freef

Grieve and Start Anew

"For context, I had a major TBI (traumatic brain injury), seizures, strokes, and all around not a fun brain time when I was 28."

"They said, 'You have to grieve the loss of yourself.'"

"Most people wanted me to go back to how I was. The f**ked up truth is that part of my brain is dead. The person everyone (including myself) knew died. I needed to grieve the loss of myself."

- squeaktoy_la

Multifaceted Identity

"They told me that my job and career is just a way to make money; it's not my life or identity. That took a lot of pressure off me."

- unfairpegasus

Breaking the Cycle

"They validated me."

"'You always talk about not wanting to do to your daughters what your mom did to you. You worry about it so much in every interaction you have ever had with them."

"But your children are 19 and 21 now. They are happy and healthy and they trust you because you’ve never abused them in any way. So I just want to validate for you that you really have broken that cycle of violence."

"You did that. And you should be proud of it. I’m proud of you for it.'"

- puppsmcgee74

The Grieving Process

"I was constantly bringing up how I felt like a completely different person after my mom died... like there was a marked difference between before and after her death."

"But once, she was asking about my hobbies, I got really into describing all the things I loved to do or at least used to do before I got into a deep depression."

"She was like, 'Wow, you seem very passionate.'"

"And I just sat there like, 'Well, I mean, I can't change what I like to do, they're still fun to do.'"

"And it's like she knew when to take a step back, because it was like, wow, I may be super depressed about my mom passing, but I'm still me. I'm still my passions and those don't go away."

"I don't know, maybe it only makes sense to be, but it really started getting me back on track."

- Hannibal680

Sharing the Load

"I've never really had friends. I've had colleagues and classmates and housemates and people who have hung out with me, but I never really felt close to any of them."

"And I did that thing you see on here sometimes; I stopped reaching out to see if I would be reached out to, and I wasn't, which I took as confirmation that they didn't really want me around, or at the very least, that they wouldn't mind my absence."

"I was talking to my therapist about people I'd been close to in college, and she told me to pick one and talk about him. So I did. After I shared some basic stuff like his name and his major etc., and a couple of anecdotes, she asked me what else I knew about him."

"And I couldn't answer. It wasn't really a broadly applicable bombshell, but she said, 'What else?' and I started crying because I realized that for as simple as the question was, my inability to answer spoke volumes."

"I've never had good friends because I've never been a good friend. I'm withdrawn and reserved and I always made others do the work to drag me out, without ever extending my own friendship in a meaningful way in return. If I wanted to have meaningful relationships with other people, I would have to build them."

"I'm still working on this, but I'm trying to make more offers and extend more friendliness to others in my daily life."

- Backupusername

The discoveries in this thread were incredibly touching and profound; it's no wonder these were lasting concepts for these Redditors.

It's important to keep ourselves open to inspiration and insights from others, as we have no idea how their experiences could help us, or how we could help them.