Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

There are basic life lessons that are life-saving and cost-effective that we are all intimidated by but, in actuality, they take all of a few minutes to acquire. We all condition ourselves to believe that certain skills in life are just too complex for regular joes to master. The truth is... you do not need an Ivy League degree to learn how to clean out the water heater, clip your pet's nails, or change out a toilet. Who knew? So many of us have been forced to acquire new skills while we've been trapped at home and we're going to be better off for it.

Redditor u/goodspeed19 wanted to know what lessons we should all be learning while stuck in quarantine that will make us more useful in the future by asking..... What's a skill you can learn in 30 minutes to one hour that is extremely useful/cool?

Car Basics....

Work Reaction GIF by EnBW Giphy

Changing the oil on a car. Changing a tire. Most of your basic car maintenance stuff that once learned will save you some money, and that you can fix in less time than it'd take to bring your car to a mechanic.



Knife sharpening, it'll stop you from cutting yourself to the bone by stopping your knife from slipping. Then use the other half of the hour to learn proper knife skills.


It's really amazing how much safer a sharp knife is. It "bites" whatever you're cutting immediately and stays on course almost like it has a mind of its own. As long as your fingers aren't in its path when you begin the slice, you're basically more likely to die of a brain aneurysm than cut yourself.



Lockpicking simple 3 pin locks.


Yes. It's freaking hilarious that people on here can't figure this out on their own.

Think about leaving your bike out with a lock on it vs without. Much more likely to come back to no bike if you don't put a lock.


The Rescue

cat save GIF Giphy

CPR, easy to learn and you could save a life someday ! (just don't do it like Michael and Dwight please).


Man Down

I learnt how to fall in my first judo class. It is really a life saver. My teacher grandpa was a judo 8-dan master, and while he was an 87 year old dude, he fell during a walk. I know it won't be a big deal to you, but at that age, falling is a real threat. He managed to do a Zempo Kaiten Ukemi, which is kind of landing on your shoulder first and rolling through your back and getting up striking the floor to use momentum to stand up, its purpose its to soften and dissipate the fall damage. He got up like nothing happened, but all the bystanders were losing it to an old man doing a front roll in the street. He was unharmed thanks to judo. Learning how to fall can save your life.


by the book....

Read the Boy Scout handbook.

It includes a humongous amount of incredibly useful information, including (but not limited to):

  • Changing a car tire (depending on the edition)
  • Useful knots such as the Bowline and Tautline Hitch
  • How to sharpen a knife
  • How to properly use the toilet when you're outdoors
  • First-aid and triage
  • How to tie a necktie
  • How to set up and take down a tent, along with (most importantly!) where to set it up. It's ridiculous how many times I've been the only person on a campout whose tent wasn't flooded because I paid attention to this section.
  • How to properly clean your dishes when you're outdoors so that you don't get dysentery.
  • How to navigate using a map, compass, landmarks, and the stars
  • How to stay safe when hiking
  • Several different ways to start a fire
  • How to repair gear
  • How to detect, prepare for, and survive inclement weather
  • How to identify various dangerous plants
  • Etc. Etc. ad infinitum. The-Daleks

Keyboard Clips

Some keyboard shortcuts never hurt. Here's the ones I use the most

CTRL + W (Google chrome) = Immediately closes your current tab

CTRL + BACKSPACE = Deletes the last whole word rather than deleting one letter at a time

Click on a hyperlink with the mouse wheel button = Opens the link in another tab

CTRL + SHFT + ESC = Opens up task manager without having to go through the CTRL + ALT + DEL menu

K (YouTube) = pauses YouTube videos

, and . (YouTube) = cycles through frames of a YouTube video when paused

CTRL + N (Google Chrome) = Opens up a new tab immediately

CTRL + SHIFT + N (Google Chrome) = Opens up an incognito tab instantly.


Swipe Fire

Tom Hanks Reaction GIF Giphy

How to make fire using tinder... not the app.. lol.


Grandma Knows

The basics of crochet/knitting. It's quite handy if you want to something original. In the end, the basics are quite simple. With those basics you can make anything. Pillows, stuffed animals/dolls, clothes, wash cloths, pot holders, gloves, hats, scarfs, and more. It can be as quick or slow as you like and as easy or challenging as you like.

Plus it's very mindful, kind if like meditation, and really calming and rewarding as you see your work grow and take form.



A little bit of sign language.



Sewing. Just learning how to straight stitch, whipstitch and ladderstitch can save A LOT of clothing, furniture, toys, etc and it's so easy that you likely will never forget how to do it.



Basic excel or google sheets - it's shocking how many people with office jobs can't use this critical tool.


Or a copier. Especially if its jammed. Most modern copiers have screens that will tell you where the jam is and how to fix it step by step. Some won't go to the next step unless you for sure fixed what needed to be fixed.



just do it spikes GIF by Nike Giphy

Tie your shoes much quicker by learning the Ian Knot.



Regular expressions are a neat skill and they come in handy if you work with computers, especially if you're a programmer or just work with a lot of text. While there are many programmers, not all of them learn it, and they should. Often programmers who don't know it take time writing needless code that can replace with much shorter code.


To Cut An Onion

How to cut an onion all fancy like, and pretty much a lot of knife technique. Takes practice after the initial 'learning' but they're not terribly tricky to remember.


I've been working on this one. Doing it right is taking me much longer than it did doing it wrong! :)

But I figure that it's like learning to type. At first it takes longer to do it the correct way. But once you get it down, you can go SO much faster than you ever could pecking it out with your pointer fingers. 2 months in and I'm still waiting to get faster with the onion.... but I'm sure it will happen. :) (I only chop an onion like once a week).



rubiks cube what GIF by Digg Giphy

You can learn to solve a Rubik's cube in an hour, or maybe two; it's just a matter of memorizing a few short series of turns and when to apply them. The rest is just training your muscle memory.


Save A Life

How bout the Heimlich Maneuver? When you're choking bc of food everybody just hits your back, which may or not help or in some cases worsen things, but the Heimlich Maneuver just gets it done perfectly.


Self taught

Self taught myself how to use editing programs like filmora and Adobe. I'm no where near an expert at them (not dissing on people with the trust skills gained from school or using them on a professional level) but it does allow me to make videos for teaching as well as worksheets for the class.


The Good Hole

I teach my students how to cut a hole in a standard piece of paper big enough to walk through. Not very useful, but my students end betting students outside my class that they can walk through a hole in paper. Easier to share a link then describe without photos, but here ya go!


It's magic...

notorious ryan guzman GIF by The Paley Center for Media Giphy

Simple magic tricks. There are a bunch you can learn that shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes each.

Use them to make friends and meet people. CPR and fire-making are more important, because they could save you or someone else in an emergency... But you will use magic far more often in every day life.


In the Oven...

Cooking one home cooked meal. I had no idea how easy some meals are to cook, until my dad started to teach me. We prepared a meatloaf AND potatoes in 10 minutes when my dad was on a 15 minute break from work (he works from home). All I had to do after was just put it in the oven.


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Sometimes you can only open yourself up completely with a person you've never met and may never meet again. That is probably because you owe that person nothing. For a brief time you'll share an intimacy without judgement because there is no baggage. And these moments can be life changing and affirming. You never know how a quick smile or hello will change the course of a person's day.

Redditor u/v_rose23 wanted know about the people they've encountered that left a lasting impression though by asking... What's the nicest interaction you've ever had with a stranger?
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Image by Mandyme27 from Pixabay

It’s weird how much stuff we let slide when we’re kids. Even if you look at the TV shows we watched back then, we had such a high threshold for the bizarre (early 2000’s Nickelodeon, anyone?). So it’s no surprise that some of us straight-up didn’t react when we saw weird crap in person.

Here are a few wild examples of seemingly harmless things we saw as kids that would be horrifying to see now. Brace yourself, this one gets crazy.

Kids and water aren’t a great mix sometimes. It can get real gross, real quick.

Not worth the tranquility.

I've always loved the tranquil feeling of being under water. When I was a kid I would just hold my breath and float around. Sometimes adults would think I was drowning and run up and scoop me out. I don't remember this (it was when I was pretty young) but my parents have told me about it

I used to think it was a funny story... people thinking I was drowning when I was just trying to relax

....until I watched a video explaining child drownings and yeah, the way I acted in water looked exactly like a drowned kid.

I don't think it's funny anymore.



Renee Zellweger Water GIF by Working Title Giphy

Flood water. It was fun and games for the kids, and we even splashed around in it, much to the horror of our parents (who immediately scrubbed us down). We didn't understand then, but now, oh wow...sewer, insects, rats, parasites, etc.


That’s actually hilarious.

My friend and I were walking along the road in about thigh high flood waters. A small boat with two men comes up to us. We were about 9 years old and I think they were National Guard. Anyway, one of the men asks if we remembered exactly where the manholes in the road were. We answered no. He told us that all of the covers had most likely been washed away in the flood but not to worry because it would probably only take them a few days to find our bodies if we were sucked down one of the holes by currents they produced. He spoke in a matter of fact tone and then left.

As an adult, I have zero doubt those two men had a good laugh as they looked back and watched us nope out of that water like two roadrunners in a cartoon.

Edit: It was Fish and Game Wardens. The NG didn't come until later.


Not to mention the crazy injuries that kids somehow are constantly surrounded by.

Had a jogger get hit by a car outside my house once when I was about eight or nine. My nephew came running inside yelling at my parents and my sister to call the ambulance because he was bleeding pretty badly.

I could even see him from our playrooms window and I wondered what he was doing lying on the grass. Turns out he was bleeding out pretty badly, deliriously yelling at my parents when they tried to help.

Eventually, an ambulance came and picked him up, but my parents always told me he made it out okay. The day after, in the spot he was found someone had put a lily in the grass in a vase.

It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out he died from the hit and run.


How sharp were they, though?

A kid f*cking sharpened his fingers with an automatic pencil sharpener at grade 2. Everyone didn't know what was going on until the teacher started freaking out.


I just remembered I tried to stick my finger into electric pencil sharpeners as a kid and disliked how my fingers were too big to fit in it. What the hell was I thinking?


Rock climbing can definitely be dangerous.

scared george costanza GIF by HULU Giphy

We did climbing in PE (sixth to eight grade). Like rock climbing and we had to do our own harness and stuff. PE teacher (supposedly) checked it after we were done to make sure it was done right. One day my neighbor broke an arm and leg because she wasn't properly strapped and fell.

This was at an international American school in Egypt around year 2000, for all those wondering what type of school does rock climbing.


Kids are, in fact, made of elastic.

We used to jump of our roof. First time hurt a little, but after a few times you learnt how to land.

Did it regularly and would try various items as 'parachutes' to see if it slows you down any.

I look at that height now and wonder how the hell we never broke anything - kids bones are more elastic I guess.


​It’s amazing what adults can get away with right under kids’ noses.

A casual hit-and-run.

car japan GIF Giphy

My babysitter was running late to take me to piano lessons and rear ended an old man at a stoplight. She told me that he must not have noticed because he didn't get out of his car. I thought nothing of it, and she drove away and took me to my piano lesson.

I forgot about it, and it didn't click until I remembered the incident years later that I had been unknowingly involved in a hit and run.


Big yikes.

Not so much something I saw - but when I was 5 or 6 I was at a family wedding, and there was this really friendly adult guy (who I didn't know) who told me he was really worried about his nice new car in the parking lot and how he wanted to check on the car but didn't want to leave the wedding.

He asked if I could go check on it and he would pay me $5 just to go see if his car was "okay" being that age $5 was a crazy amount of money so I couldn't believe my luck.

On the way to the parking lot, my mom intercepted me and was absolutely horrified, I remember not understanding why, like trying to tell her no she had it wrong he was nice and paying me! And as an adult now I'm like that's so messed up and I wonder how close a call that could have been.


Go grandma!

Until the age of 12 my grandma had custody of me. I used to sleep with her and she slept with a baseball bat next to her bed. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized she did it dads friends wouldn't be able to do anything to me.

Dad was a drug addict and drunk and when he was out of prison he had all kinds of people in and out of the house. You would never know what would be missing the next day - often my Nintendo :(

She did everything she could to protect me from God knows who/what and I had zero clue!

Edit: Damn this blew up while I was sleeping!! Thank you so much to everyone for the support :)

Im adding extra details to help understand the situation.

My grandmother was born in 1914, had a third grade education and was a housewife her entire life. She was already 71 when I was born! My grandpa died when I was 4 and it was just her and I. We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom house in a terrible neighborhood. It was paid off and that's all she could afford. She lived off of the social security death benefits from my grandpa and food banks. She couldn't just "leave" and go anywhere else.

Also, for those suggesting she should have called the cops - cops don't do anything if you say "I'm scared these guys will do something bad" cops have to wait till something bad happens.

She did her very best and raised my right! Now my father is back in prison (shocker) and is pissed at me for not letting the past be in the past and welcoming him with open arms. Meanwhile I'm a 2x college graduate with a great job, my own house and recently married! She definitely did something right. Unfortunately she died when I was 12. Id give anything to be able to tell her how grateful I am to her for doing everything right.


We see some scary stuff as kids. No wonder most of us are so messed up years later. Often these things don’t even register as something terrible- a lot of times, the things we witnessed were just a part of life.

The best we can do is to take our trauma, and learn from it, so we don’t pass it down to our own children. Because kids don’t deserve it- they deserve to have happy childhoods and not think about the horrors of the world.