Life doesn't come with a blueprint, instructions, nor a roadmap of what to expect in the days and years ahead. It does, however, contain all kinds of people who've lived life for longer than you.
Those people can be a HUGE help.
Older, wiser, and more experienced, some people have encountered--and overcome--struggles that you currently face or haven't even met yet.
The advice and guidance provided by those people, often in small, bite size pieces, can provide a very helpful array of guiding compasses to be used whenever the appropriate situation arises.
And just in case you're running low on wise people and advice in your life, a recent Reddit thread pulled together a laundry list of wise axioms.
sayantane asked, "What is the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?"
People Break Down The Best Loophole They've Ever Exploited
Many people chose to discuss the pragmatic pieces of advice they've heard over the years. These platitudes can all go quite far in ensuring real, concrete success.
Until It's Breezy
"Study to the point where the tests seem like they're insulting your intelligence. Best calc professor Ive had" -- Fruooop
"That's a really good way of putting it. I'll have to remember that."
"Something I've read in the past, that's sort of similar: 'Don't just study until you *can* get the questions *right*. Study until you *can't* get the questions *wrong*.' " -- skullturf
Stock Up First
"Pay your savings account FIRST."
"Don't wait until the day before you get paid to move the left overs into an account."
"Never lend money you aren't prepared to lose." -- ProfessorFunky
"The saying I read quite a few years ago was 'don't lend money to friends or family unless you can afford to lose both' this has helped me in making mostly good decisions on who I ever lend money to." -- Curious-
Keep It Fresh
"If someone offers you a breath mint, take it." -- Aspy17
"That's a really good advice. I usually hand out chewing gums, when I myself take some, to feel generous. It's good nobody offered me one while not taking one themselves yet." -- Ziriath
Actions, not Words
"Anyone can replace you in the job you do. It's not your job to boast about how irreplaceable you are, but to prove to them that they don't WANT to replace you."
"There's a difference."
" 'When you're in a new area, never pass up an opportunity to pee.' -My Dad" -- DingleberryHandpump6
"I'm just realizing that on all of the road trips I've taken the last few years I can't remember the whole drive, but I can definitely remember the random areas in the woods I pulled over to pee lol." -- MrEngin33r
Other people shared the advice they've used to improve the social realm of their own life.
With friendships, romantic partnerships, and romantic relationships dominating so much of our lives, it's so important to feel sure you're handling all that as best as you can.
The Cardinal Directions
" 'When it's her moment stand behind her. When she's nervous stand beside her. When she's scared stand in front of her. The rest you'll figure out.' - My Grandmother on women" -- WholeMilkStandard
"I love your grandma!!" -- Neverthelilacqueen
Keep Rage At Bay
"From my friend's late father, a wise old man from Trinidad:"
"Any man can get your goat, if you let him know where your goat is tied."
Recognize and Accept
"Don't be mad when people act exactly like you expected them too." -- libertaine
"You can be disappointed without being surprised" -- RAGECOMIC_VICAR
"As I heard someone say regarding a certain 2016 presidential candidate his party nominated to his displeasure 'when someone tells you who they are you should believe them' " -- HitEmWithDatKTrain
Check Your Sources
"Don't take criticism from someone you wouldn't take advice from" -- thehotdeskpodcast
"Well that rules out like 98% of the people I interact with." -- MrEngin33r
"Thank you. No need to give our power away." -- kittanjaan
People Are Not Psychics
" 'You have to ask for what you want from people, make your position clear.' "
"Don't just assume people know what your problem is, communication is key. It is great for relationships, work, friendships, school and even playing team sports or video games."
Other people discussed matters of the soul. These tidbits were all about how to handle being a human being with complex emotional states.
Let It Go
" 'You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. If words can control you, that means everyone can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.' "
"It's easier said than done, but it's 100% true."
Give More Love
"Don't be afraid to show gratitude. I don't know why, but for most of my life I was embarrassed to reach out and thank people for a variety of things."
"I'd say 'thanks' to stuff like everyone does. But feeling comfortable giving specific and thoughtful expressions of gratitude has been a journey well worth taking."
Comparative Suffering Doesn't Work
" 'It doesn't matter if someone has it worse than you, you're still having a hard time and that makes your problems valid and gives you the right for help.' " -- BenaBenaBadBad
"I remember one similar to this that was like 'just because someone else is in a full body cast, it doesn't mean that your broken arm doesn't hurt' " -- UnwaveringBear
Only So Much Control
"You can do everything right and still be wrong."
"Basically, for me that's a reminder to enjoy the moments in life and enjoy the journey. It means for me to try hard for what I want, but to not think that doing everything right means that I will get what I want."
This is by no means a full list of all the best advice out there. Every moment, people are learning from mistakes, powering through struggles, and bestowing the learned knowledge onto others in their lives.
Keep your ears open enough and you'll never stop learning from those people.
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12-year-olds are a unique breed of human beings. They sit right in that middle area where childhood innocence, youthful fears, and reckless adolescent confidence all overlap into a completely irrational soup of decision-making.
But that period of life, like all of them, does pass. We keep growing, sweeping through adolescence, surging on through the twenties, and edging into middle age.
Once an adult, it can be difficult to imagine exactly what felt most important when you were 12 years old.
And yet, a few things stick. They lead us to compare and contrast the plans of that 12-year-old kid against what actually occurred in our lives.
The result is a reflection equal parts nostalgic, relieved, and hilarious.
Some Redditors offered up their answers to that question.
coronacel asked, "What would 12 year-old you never believe about adult you?"
Many people keyed in on the clearest signs that adulthood had arrived completely, leaving the zaniness of childhood largely in the dust.
"That sometimes, when I'm not paying attention, my mom's words slipped right out of my mouth!" -- BlindGirlSees
"Sometimes it happens even when I'm paying attention. I'm too young to turn into her." -- SkyScamall
"I just tell people that my dad is the world's greatest ventriloquist. He can be miles away and his voice still comes out of my mouth." -- OpeScuseMe74
"For almost 9 years, I've worked literally 1 minute away from a huge water park and I've never gone there." -- subject_deleted
"Yeah the chance of drowning is non-zero, pretty sure 12 year old me would avoid the place too." -- vizthex
"This one breaks my heart, imagine the look on your younger face." -- Splashfooz
All About Context
"I actually like exercise and physical activity, it's just PE class that sucked." -- mulitvac83
"School does a surprisingly good job of sucking every last bit of fun out of many subjects. PE focused on competitive team sports -- horrible for non-competitive or less coordinated people." -- ljr55555
"That I'm in bed usually by 8:45 every night. To sleep 😳" -- QueenBetsie
"a good sleep cycle rocks. Wish i could push myself to do that." -- GotYeeted
"This is me and then I sleep 8-9 hours and wake up with the sunrise and no alarm. 12 year old me, during the summer, stayed up until sunrise and slept until afternoon." -- pieohmi
Some Changed, Some Didn't
"That I actually like bees now and want to pursue beekeeping some day."
"I used to hate all bugs no matter what, but with more research, I realized that bees aren't so bad. Still hate other bugs tho..."
Lost in the Shuffle
"That all of the things I said I'd always remember and never do as an adult, I've largely forgotten and probably do as an adult ..." -- monsieurpoupon
"12 year old me would hate an office job. Ugh, 9-5 is not for me! I wanted to be doing stuff outside. Commutes are gross.
"31 year old me loves my office job and the structure a 9-5 (though I am 8-4, technically) brings my life. I MISS my office and my commute since working from home. They were clear divides of when I work, wind down (commuting with podcasts and audiobooks), and am free at home." -- deskbeetle
No, Special Agents Aren't the Only Ones
"I live in a whole a** other country and speak another language now, that definitely would've come as a surprise." -- Ryoukugan
"Same. And despite all the hours 12 year old me spent with a Japanese dictionary, it's not Japan" -- Cunninglinguist87
Others lamented that some things they dreamed about as kids never quite panned out as the years went by.
To be fair, many of those dreams were rather far-fetched. Though not all.
Still Waiting On the Steeds
"That I'm almost 40 and still don't have a stable full of horses." -- carmindy
"I just turned 40 and finally do have a horse of my own. It was well worth the wait, young me!" -- corporatewazzack
"I used to wake up every Christmas morning, hoping and wishing I'd see a horse on my parents' suburban front lawn. Believe it or not it didn't happen."
"I literally picked a career path in accounting to have the financial stability to own horses some day and am borderline ready to forgo having children to make it happen." -- fivecentssobct11
"That I haven't gotten married. That something I just assumed would happen and yet here we are and I'm still single."
"I think he'd also be surprised at how rough my teenage years were."
Never Came Together
"That, I too, don't know what the fu** I'm doing with my life." -- lilasketching
"Lol I think 12 year old me knew more about what I was doing in life than I do" -- platypossamous
"12 yo me had her whole life planned ahead of her and was ready to take on the entire world. She wouldn't be happy to hear that none of it panned out the way it was planned and I have no idea what I'm doing on any given day." -- SimonSpooner
Don't Hold Your Breath
"We never got that growth spurt we were promised" -- mumoftheweek
"Same. I'm in my 20's and people still tell me I'll get one one day." -- Monarch_of_God
"Mine seems to have been horizontal rather than vertical." -- AStartIsBorn
But some people took note of the things that haven't changed a bit, despite all the years that separate them from their 12-year-old selves.
They were happy to reflect on the innocence they've managed to retain.
Good for a Laugh
"That I still laugh at the exact same things." -- Billy-Mays-Ghost
"Still listen to the same music too" -- platypossamous
"I love a good fart joke. Probably more than I ever have." -- WaterWatcher
The Locks are BACK
"That my hair would still be this long!"
"I was on chemo from 11-14 and all I wanted was to get my hair back. I had luscious locks halfway down my back(I'm a boy) and I'm proud to say after 3 years of being off chemo my hair has restored to (almost) it's old length."
"I'm eternally greatful for my life, and plan to live it to the fullest!"
"I get that I'm not really an "adult" but I'm as adult as I've ever been"
Finally Striking Out
"When I was not 12 but 13, I got this crazy idea. I dreamed of someday loading a bunch of camping gear onto my bicycle and disappearing for a year or so to ride around the country. Also when I was 13, I started to see signs of trouble in my family."
When I was 17, those family troubles would culminate I'm my parents' divorce. And when I was 20 years old, I would finally set off on that bike camping trip I'd dreamed of for so long."
"So 13 year old me would be super stoked to hear that the bike trip actually happened, and he wouldn't be entirely surprised about the divorce and its lingering effects to this day. But 12 year old me? Yeah, he has absolutely no idea what's coming."
Committed After All These Years
"I'd still sit down for an all night session of Dungeons and Dragons." -- TigerMkIV
"I never played DnD, but I really, really want to try. I've been listening to a bit of The Adventure Zone podcast and it sounds like a blast. Growing up, it was always the bottom of the barrel for nerdism. You could play or be into anything nerdy and get away with it because 'at least it's not DnD.' "
"I think my friends and I would really dig it if they just got past the stereotype. The last time I talked about it some time ago, the idea got shot down. Maybe I'll give it another go the next time I go home, or try arranging it with them online over roll20."
"The biggest problem is that I would likely have to be dungeon master for a group that knows nothing about it. I barely do." -- Voittaa
"That I own an ice cream shop. 🤯" -- blackcatice
"As an ice cream shop owner, how much ice cream do you infact still consume? Do you get tired of it after a while? Can one even get tired of ice cream?" -- AnAncientMonk
Now that you've read this, take a second to reflect on your own answer to the 12-year-old question.
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As children, we were mystified by the boring parts of life that grown-ups seemed not only to put up with... but embrace.
Wanting to go to bed early? Saying no to dessert? Initiating plans to do yard work? These were inconceivable thoughts, and they felt galaxies away from the person we'd ever become.
But anybody who's grown to be at least in their 20s--or beyond--those habits and priorities, quietly and without you noticing right away, become a part of your own life.
And while many adults share the common chores that are standard parts of home maintenance and a life spent earning a living, there's no doubt that our particular approach is informed by the adults you observed most growing up: your parents.
The discovery of just how like our parents we appear when we complete those tasks--down to tones of voice and minor quirks--can be alarming to say the least.
Connect-Slide4504 asked, "What's the most 'I'm turning into my parents' moment for you?"
Cleaning and organization are some of the most common areas where parental influence holds some serious sway.
Once tasked with taking care of a home or apartment of our own, we begin to witness a bizarre, familiar investment in how that place looks and feels.
Unilateral Decision Making
"When I was cleaning the kitchen and didn't want anyone else to help because I felt like it wouldn't be done right." -- Cornwalace
"Oh lord do I feel this! When I had housemates, the only time I could clean properly was when no one else was home because they tried to help and did it wrong!" -- Isoldmysoul4atwix
"Or cleaning the bathroom! The first time I asked my SO to clean the shower he got a paper towel. NONONONONO. You need a sponge at the minimum, ideally a scrubbie brush to get that gunk out! He's since learned my way (the proper way lol) of cleaning the bathroom." -- feedmedammit
"I no longer tolerate clutter. This past week alone, I sorted out the spice cabinet to the degree that I ended up trashing about 50 vials of expired herbs, spices and sauces, the oldest of which was a bottle of soy from 2013."
"It was a long overdue task and normally I HATE doing anything resembling housework but lordy, it was immensely satisfying to see everything neat, tidy and easily accessible."
"I also have started a binder/folder system to store all important documents that were building up on the overstuffed noticeboard, I'm about to tackle the hoard of books under the coffee table and sometime during the weekend, I might even clear out the medicine cabinet."
"I also spotted a box of 'Microwave Cleaner' on sale in the store today and my first thought was 'ooh, €1.50 a box! That'll be handy.'"
"I can't believe I'm saying this but doing housework has made me feel so much more productive in this pandemic along with giving my depression a bit of a kick up the arse."
"It's not an outright cure-all but I'm happier going to bed exhausted by a busy day and feeling accomplished by the end of it rather than lying awake all night lamenting the fact that I've wasted my waking hours once again."
"Going grocery shopping or folding laundry on a Friday/Saturday night. Thinking 8pm is too late to leave the house to do anything."
"In my defense it IS a pandemic, so not much to do otherwise. It's also winter, and I'm pregnant.. so maybe I'll be cool again someday."
Opting for Nice Things
"Oh my god I just told my sister I was turning into our mom the other day."
"Last year I bought a set of 'nice' silverware. Not extremely fancy but like a $60 set. Well, my daughter dropped a fork in the trash can and said 'I'm not digging through the trash to find it.' I was like bet your a** you are! I was so pissed."
Never to Be Touched, In Any Home
"The first time I yelled 'DON'T TOUCH THE FU**IN' THERMOSTAT!' Now, to be clear, this was directed towards my wife, who for some reason has about a two degree comfort range. My kids were confused, because they aren't old enough to know what a thermostat is or what it does."
"A few weeks go by, and I hear my wife in the living room tell my son 'Tell Alexa to turn the thermostat up.' I lean into the doorway a bit, and my son locks eyes with me."
"He then looks my wife dead in the eyes, with the most serious look he can muster and says "No way Mommy. Daddy said don't touch the fu**in' thermostat! Are you trying to get Alexa in trouble too?!" We both died."
Others recognized their parents incarnated in their own weird quirks. These weren't connected to chores, but habits and tendencies when their guard was down.
But those moments are the ones that really show who we are.
Credits, Yes. First Scene, Maybe. Anything Else, No Chance.
"I started falling asleep during movies. I used to get so mad at my mom for doing that, now I have a job and I understand why." -- juliajmusic
"If my wife and kids put a movie on after 7:00 p.m., I just look at it as an early bedtime. I'm asleep within 5 minutes." -- georgefishersneck
"This was me last night, she put on Princess and The Frog, I fell asleep almost instantly. She woke me up when it ended and I felt bad." -- nahiaintdoingthat
Beginning to Picture the Worst
"Last night, when I got worried because my fiancé was 5 minutes late coming home from the gym and I caught myself saying 'I can't help it, I worry about you.' "
"Bam, I have become my mother."
An Age Old Quip
"There is a shower in my basement that no one ever uses. There are a couple dead bugs in it that I've never bothered to clean up. When our niece came to stay with us for a few days, she planned to stay in the basement."
"My wife asked why I hadn't cleaned the dead bugs out of the shower, I opened my mouth and heard my dad say, 'They go with the decor.'"
"I a 63yo woman but caught myself in a mirror and all I saw was my father!" -- amyabrooks50
"I kept logging onto Facebook and catching my profile picture and thinking, 'How is my deceased mother posting new pictures on Facebook???' "
"She wasn't. It was me. It's me every time. I look just like her." -- fireflygalaxies
Life Before 9am
"My parents were always early risers. On Sunday they're up and banging around in the kitchen by 7am. They made enough racket that even though we had a pretty big house that they'd always wake me up. Always pissed me off."
"When i moved out six years ago i thought 'finally, I'll be able to sleep in.' But i can't. Even without an alarm, on vacation, I'm awake by 7-7:30. If I'm really exhausted i might be able to sleep in until ALMOST 8:30, but no later."
"It's advantageous in a lot of ways but just once in a while I'd like to sleep in."
There is one other time when people let their guards down and the true inner essence comes out: moments of anger. Plenty of Redditors discovered the sounds and sights of their parents when they were disciplining their own children.
But their responses to those moments offered some hope of wisdom growing across the generations.
"The 'Mom finger,' I'm a dude. 'Don't you ever let me catch you...' " -- DigitalBishop
"There's a special Italian variant of this, instead of a finger it's a wooden spoon. If you don't immediately obey the holder of the spoon may God have mercy on your soul." -- ahahahahelpme
An Age Old Classic
"The first time 'get off of my lawn' popped in my head." -- adansby
"The first time I yelled at a kid that biked across my lawn I was 23... The realization hit me like a brick wall." -- Thefocker
Presence of Mind
"Yelled at my kid and at the same time saw myself out the corner of my eye in the mirror."
"I was yelling something my dad used to yell at me, and I look a lot like him."
"I hated it when I was a kid, and immediately apologised to my kid."
Not Heating the Whole Neighborhood
"When I was a kid, I was constantly going outside and coming back inside. It annoyed my mom to no end. She used to say 'In or out!!!! Pick one!'"
"About 20 years later, I have an amazing kid. Now that he's old enough, he is constantly going outside or coming inside and NEVER closes the the sliding glass door."
"Hence, either heat or air conditioning is being wasted for most months out of the year. I caught myself telling him 'In or out!!!! Pick one.....oh crap, now I understand my mom's frustration.....'"
"And yes, I've told him to shut the door. Many, many times. He's never closed a door or turned off a light without my reminding. I'm hoping it sinks in soon. Sigh."
"Yelling at the news is one. I remember constantly asking my dad if he realized the people on tv couldn't hear him."
"Sometimes you just have to yell though."
Lights Out, Twerps
"When I went thru my house the other day, yelling to my two young kids, 'When you leave a room, turn the LIGHTS OFF!! This costs money!!'"
"I've officially become my dad."
So next time you catch yourself sounding just like your mother or father, take note.
Perhaps you're repeating a wonderful, fun attribute that you should have no shame in replicating. Or maybe it's an uglier tendency, and your noticing can help you dial it down.
Either way, rest assured that the moments won't stop coming.
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Let's chat. Redditor u/coronorbakery wanted to hear from everyone who was willing to chat about about understanding their place in life and how they got there by asking.... (Serious) White people who grew up in low-income families or didn't experience "the good life", what does white privilege mean to you and how do you feel about the term?
I view privilege as a way of describing statistical tendencies. Are Black Americans more likely to experience a negative encounter with police? Yes. Does that mean that every white guy has had only positive experience with police? Of course not. It's a probability metric, not an exact description of each person's individual life.
It is entirely possible that you have an attribute that, on average, favors you... but you were extremely unlucky and landed in the bottom end of the bell curve. Experiencing tough times personally doesn't invalidate statistical averages.
The only time it really annoys me is when people assume they know all about someone based solely on privilege and generalizing from a few obvious traits.
The 2 of Us.
I grew up very poor. Luckily with my parents who are good people.
My partner also grew up poor with his amazing mom who brought them from a war torn country in Africa to the Bronx as refugees before finally getting refugee status here in Canada. If you look at us both based only on economic backgrounds, how much money we had and that we both know what it's like to go without hydro or heat or food you could compare our situations but that is where it ends.
I've never been arrested for being poor. He has. We've both done illegal things to survive yet how come I have never spent a day in jail and have a squeaky clean record yet he does not? I've never been pulled over for driving over a year with expired tags because I couldn't afford the renewal yet he gets pulled over all the time for nothing. Especially now that we have a nice car. I've never been harassed or beat by police for just existing in my body, he has. When I went to university it wasn't assumed that my athletic ability got me there. When I dropped out of university to work full time to support my parents it was not assumed that I dropped out because I wasn't smart enough. I was not considered a drop out.
He was. Today, as a successful, educated woman when I present myself to people who do not know my background no one assumes anything about how I got here. No one asks me how I could possibly do it. They assume I earned it and that I had what they consider a normal upbringing. He does not get that assumption.
There's so, so much more. At the end of the day we both pulled ourselves out of poverty and suffering but yet the assumptions made about us are not the same. Not at all.
Among the Ivy League.
We were immigrants from Eastern Europe. Although we never thought of ourselves as poor I guess that's what we were - our furniture came from the street, my dad worked pumping gas and driving cabs, my brother got beat up in school for wearing the same clothes every day. My cousins all went to prison, I dropped out of high school.
I have a white collar job now and work among Ivy League grads. No one knows I'm a dropout. Was it easier for me because I'm not black? Probably. Do i feel guilty? Hell no, I've had my share of problems and more in this life and I'm happy for every advantage I got. That's not to say I wouldn't want to see Black Americans succeed and play on a more level field, I very much would. But i can't feel guilty about my own success.
I was able to work my way out of it and never once worried that my appearance would be the deciding factor in an opportunity (unless you're thinking about the hospitality industry - then it's about attractiveness no matter the race.)
EDIT: Thanks for the awards.
Also, I meant to say that the hospitality industry discriminates based on attractiveness AND race, not that it doesn't discriminate on race. Many, many other jobs do too, but probably not to the same degree.
I wasn't dirt poor but had a single mom, lived in a duplex and was on welfare periodically. To me white privilege was when I was caught smoking or trespassing or some stupid kid stuff and I got sat on the curb and picked up by my mom while my black friends were cuffed, went to the station or were threatened with violence.
Edit: For those saying "I'm white and I still got in trouble" I'm not implying that I never got in trouble because I'm white. That's not true. However throughout my teenage years it was blatantly obvious that my black and latino friends consistently faced harsher consequences for similar transgressions.
I grew up below the poverty line and was homeless at times, one in which I lived in a semi truck with my mother, her husband, 3 of my sisters, and 2 of my brothers. My bed was literally the passenger seat floor board.
That being said, white privilege means to me that I can get pulled over or stopped by the cops without the fear of being shot. When I go to the mall, no one assumes I'm shoplifting.
People aren't scared of me or think I'm in a gang just because of the color of my skin. Finding a job in my adult life has been relatively easy. My only real struggles now, as an adult, are that of being a woman, but I do not face the same hurdles women of color face daily. I hope that helps in some way to answer your question honestly.
I grew up poor with a mother who was very irresponsible (spending money we didn't have and time better spent raising her kids doing drugs). I got into a lot of trouble in my teen years with drugs and generally being a screw up. Im only half white but i look white, and to me white privilege is not getting into as much trouble as i deserved to be in. So many times i was let off with a warning for loitering or shoplifting or brushed of by teachers as being "tired" or "troubled" when i was showing up to school high, and i know i wouldn't have gotten that kind of leeway if i wasn't (mostly) white.
The Way of Words.
I think the word privilege irks people a bit. "I had struggles, how am I privileged? Everything I own I earned myself!" I can understand how people would feel that way to some degree and it usually comes from a lack of understanding due to the phrase of white privilege. That and racism... sometimes.
"Reduced discrimination due to being white" doesn't have the same ring to it as "white privilege."
"what's he up too?"
I legit walked in with a black friend to a store. He got tailed by the store clerk whole time. I didn't.
Friend got called pretty for a black girl. I got told I have nice hair. Heard "wow he sounds so professional I thought that he was white".
Its not about living the good life. I grew up poor. I grew up with a kerosene heater in my kitchen because our lights and power were cut off very often or "let's have a camp fire tonight!" Cause we didn't have electricity for the stove to turn on.
It's about how you are treated. White privilege isn't "oh you didn't grow up poor" white privilege is being treated like a human being because you're a human being and your skin tone being ignored. I don't get shot if I steal I get arrested. I get the benefit of the doubt.
Its not about your money. Or your class. It's about not being treated like you're a criminal or a sub human.
the good life.
I grew up white and dirt poor. I had nothing even remotely resembling "the good life". My life was sh*t by most standards and yet I:
- Didn't feel the need to fear the police in my neighborhood
- Didn't get the police called on me for simply walking down the street
- Didn't cause people to cross to the other side of the street to avoid walking past me
- Was able to walk around a store without being followed by security
- Was statistically far less likely to end up in the criminal justice system
- Saw good role models on TV that I could relate to
- Never had someone be surprised that I accomplished something or could "speak well".
- Could find Band-Aids in my skin color.
I worked my tail off to claw my way out of the mess of my childhood and it was hard, but I have no doubt it would have been exponentially harder if my skin wasn't white.
There are many other examples. White privilege is not about money, nor does it suggest that white people don't struggle for what they have. It is about the fact that the systems we live under were designed by and for white people and others have to adapt to them, change them, or fail.
It's about the unconscious power of the status quo.
A family has no one perfect make-up. It really should be a simple concept to behold, but so many people have so many opinions about what they deem right and wrong. But maybe everyone should talk to people with experience on certain topics before they judge. It's a new day and people are realizing that romantic and true love for others can carry to more than one significant other.
Redditor u/AydanZeGod wanted to hear about what it's like to have more than two heads of a household for the little ones by asking.... Children of poly relationships, what was it like growing up?
Dinnertime...dinner twins GIF by Boomerang OfficialGiphy
When I was younger I didn't realize mom and dad were poly, but now it's funny to see my friends faces when I say "my mom and her wife and my dad and my dad's girlfriend and his other girlfriend and I are gonna get together for dinner tonight."
just more players on the stage.....
When I was young my folks dated a couple of couples. One was very long term, we were military families but they managed to finagle a transfer together. So wow, that would've been like 8 years at least? They kept in close romantic contact when they separated, but idk if they qualify that as still being together.
They were my aunt and uncle, essentially.
We and their kiddos got sent off to grandparents (theirs and ours) together to give them alone time. It was kinda a given that we'd all see each other every couple days, either they'd come to our house or we'd go to theirs. Not for them to sneak away for sexy time, but just to spend time together and be a family together.
I knew I could go to them about anything I could talk to my folks about and even some things I couldn't. That closeness continued even when my own folks split, idk what standing they had with them after that tho.
Unfortunately, my aunt kinda had a psychotic menopause and we had to go to NC with her.
Nobody knows that I'm still in contact with my uncle tho. Idk how my mom would feel about it. But he stayed a rock for me when my own dad didn't.
Same drama as any other family I guess, just more players on the stage.
Thanks for the Slime....
I had a therapist in a poly relationship and they all 3 had a child together that was around 9 when I met them, 2 dads and one mom.
Unfortunately, they couldn't be fully open about the fact that the 3 of them were in love since before she was born because the one she called dad worked for a religious college and that information getting out at all could have cost him his career, so she only called 2 of them mom and dad while she thought of the other like an uncle that visited every day.
She seemed normal, she liked to make slime.
Too Many Voices....pole GIFGiphy
It was fine.
The poly part didn't really become known to me till I was 13 or so. The only weird bit was if I was bringing home a friend or someone I wanted to go out with I had to kind of explain what to expect beforehand and some people got weirded out. 🤷♀️
I'm an adult in a monogamous marriage now - I saw first-hand that getting 3 people to come to a consensus on anything was exponentially more difficult than just getting 2 on the same page.
Edit : I just realized too - how I was raised also made me very comfortable with taking about sex and boundaries in a relationship, where I think a lot of me peers were more easily pressured into things they weren't comfortable with.
This will probably be buried but it happened to my husband who didn't even realize it was happening. When he was a kid his father lived with his mothers, one of whom he thought was his birth mother and the other was an identical twin to her that he just called his aunt. He said it felt pretty normal, he never knew it was poly until much later in his life.
Several years back, his mother had passed away and his aunt contacted him again asking if she could move in with him to have him help her as her caregiver. He agreed, and just before her passing he received a letter from her lawyer (written by the twins and his father) finally explaining everything. Turned out his aunt was his actual birth mother who had kids with his father too before he was born but who had passed away in a house fire.
The mother that raised him was completely sterile and in fact had a hysterectomy at a very young age. He was in complete shock, but said it made sense how close everyone was in the house, despite keeping all the adult stuff behind closed doors. His big shock seemed more the fact that his father kept up two relationships instead of just one, and he was either scared, impressed, or both.
When in the States...
I took a class with a Dr. Awasom at University of Houston - Downtown for a while. He would talk about his childhood growing up in Cameroon in a family with one father and about a dozen mothers. At mealtime, the kids would run a route from one mother to the next, all grabbing a bite from each. He says he was, IIRC, 12 when he learned which mother gave birth to him. When he came to Houston to study, he applied at Rice University.
When filling out the application, he asked for an extra page to provide the names of all his mothers.
In his culture, he was considered to be the reincarnation of his grandfather. At a special ceremony every year, he would offer his grandfather's advice and answer questions on his grandfather's behalf. It was also in his authority to prescribe punishment for his father on this occasion. When Awasom came to the states, he would attend the annual ceremonies by phone.
Edit : Apparently, Dr. Awasom passed away last year. There's a brief tribute to him here:
Hard for me to believe there isn't more about him online. Would love to have had his memoirs.
Honestly I think it's waaaaaaay more boring than most people would think. Most of the time, my mom wouldn't introduce a partner to me unless it was a long term relationship, so most of the time I got the single mom experience. I think the most exciting thing was going out for dinner to meet someone new, and occasionally my mom would date someone who had a kid my age, and we would awkwardly play together while our parents were on a date (as in, we were playing in my room upstairs and a movie date or something was going on in the living room downstairs).
Really for the most part it was so completely average other than knowing my mom had 2 girlfriends and eventually I also got a stepdad. The worst part was around 6-8th grade when kids found out and started bullying me for it, asking all kinds of disgusting sexual questions about my parents (no one wants to think about their parents having sex).
Eventually I learned to just not tell anyone unless we were close and I new they were cool. I only ever had one person I trusted enough to actually come to a family picnic where my mom's partners would all be there. My mom's partners aren't my parents but they are part of my life and my family. They're wonderful and supportive, and have helped me through some horrible dark spots in my life. I'm grateful to have such a wonderful, loving family.
So yeah, not very exciting, I know. But it's my life!
Oh the Hippies....camping free people GIF by MOST EXPENSIVESTGiphy
I grew up in a small town and 1/2 of the town were hippies.
In the 3rd grade one of my friends couldn't go on a field trip because he returned a permission slip with the word "parent or legal guardian" crossed out and signed by the "group representative". Of course in the 3rd grade we didn't know what was going on until my mom explained it to me. But when the kid was told he couldn't go the whole hippie commune came over to class explaining to the teacher how all their kids will be raised by the group and it's damaging if they see a single person as their parent or guardian.
I am 15 years old, and my parents often have potlucks where they invite their partners over. My parents are good people, and everyone they invite over are good people and have become my friends. I also usually will meet their children and become friends with them. It really is just a wonderful environment, but it is very difficult to maintain. More partners = more drama, and a lot of times two people will get in a fight and cause the whole group to split for a while. But all in all it's pretty great.
Edit: this really blew up and there were a few questions in the comments so I figured I would elaborate a bit. My dad is bi and my mom isn't, and the group of partners that they have (called the polycule) consists of well over 50 people, but not everyone is on a romantic relationship. And in any group of 50 people, their are people who can't stand each other. So my parents circumstance is a bit of a special one, but it only leads to meeting more good people.
A Better PersonKids Swag GIFGiphy
Can't really say it felt weird or odd as it was just what I was used to but I think I can honestly say it's made me a more open and loving person, I'm not afraid of being close to people because my parents were always very close with their friends (for reasons that are obvious now but less so at the time).
I also grew up getting to know my parents friends quite well because my parents were very close with them and trusted them enough to look after us, although I'll admit this was probably more so they could have the house free of children. It does mean that I'm still quite close with a lot of them and consider them friends of mine outside of my parent's friendship with them and I also have a few more parental figures to choose from, meaning I can pick the best ones from each to try and emulate.
All in all I'd say I'm a more well rounded person as I got to know a lot more people as family growing up as well as exposing me to many different personalities.
My parents have been a triad since 1998.
It was hard I wont lie, they dated a lot of 4ths who brought their own children into the mix then later break up with them. It was really difficult to constantly have parental figures and siblings come and go. The most being 13 kids and 4 adults in a 2 bedroom apartment.
I am glad though that I grew up with it, I'm poly myself and it was never something my parents encouraged or forced on us. In fact they always say not to try it unless you're a specific type of person. It introduced me to a wide arrange of people and broadened my mind to what family actually is which is the people who love you and make you feel safe i.e. chosen family.
No Need to Explain....
Hey, a question relevant to me! honestly, though, it wasn't super different than any other way of growing up i assume, i just have one extra dad than everybody else. that's just always how it's been, and i never really thought about how 'abnormal' it was until high school. Even then it was more just thinking whether i really cared enough to explain to other people, or just go with a white lie on paperwork or whatever. Biggest difference i can think of while growing up is that there was ALWAYS someone home, which can be frustrating for a rebellious teenager.
What's your #?tracy morgan bingo GIF by Team CocoGiphy
My mother was involved in a poly relationship for a while when I was a kid. It was very confusing. For a while there were 4 of us kids around, me, the kid of the other woman, and the two kids of the man. We were all pretty confused and resentful. Our favorite joke was "pick a number and wait in line."
Not so Great....
My friend described it as "like going through the stress of your parents divorcing and meeting your moms new boyfriend, but forever".
He cut off his relationship with his parents (and refuses to even call the dude who isn't bio related a family member). He hardly talks about it, but that's the explanation I got out of him.
My parents weren't poly until I was a toddler, I guess? I thought of the other couple as just nice people my mom and dad were close with, they met online and came to visit, they all clicked well, and eventually the other couple moved in with my family. I didn't make the connection they were all together until I was a teenager, I suppose I thought they were all just roommates of sort (though bed swapping and sharing was occurring the whole time!).
By that point, my mom and dad had divorced and so had the couple- my dad married the other woman, and my mother married the other man. My mother has divorced and remarried again, and my father and stepmother are still together, almost 20 years later.
tl;dr in retrospect, it's just kind of an odd situation, but I honestly didn't even realize my parents were poly growing up and now my dad is married to the lady instead of my mom.
Show me costumes....christian grey anastasia GIF by Fifty ShadesGiphy
My parent were swingers. They went to bondage clubs and things like that. I found out in my late teens, so I didn't really care all that much.
I learned of it through my friend who told me his mom told him that my parents asked if they were interested one night when they were chilling in the hot tub.
Started to put the pieces together after that... All the "Halloween costumes" in that box that I always overlooked... It's weird, but whatever more power to them. Don't think they do it anymore though, they're getting a little too old for that life.
It all depends....
I know 7+ families with poly parents and more with open relationships.
The kids are... kids. Some are great. Some are anxious or manic. It varies by parent and child, not by the poly.
The poly parents that aren't great parents are pretty comparable to the normative parents that aren't great. And the poly parents that are great are pretty comparable to the normative parents that are great.
The biggest differences I can think of are going to be about communication, affection, and love, but even that's just a tendency and not a definitive distinction.
That's my experience anyways.
Had a friend several years ago that grew up with poly parents in Kansas. What he described seemed like a pretty healthy family/upbringing, and I would describe him as a well-adjusted, happy human. I don't think either parent was particularly promiscuous, but throughout the years they would have other partners. He was a proponent of polyamory and had a pretty good way of explaining it - basically no one person can satisfy your everything, so polyamorists have more than one partner that allow them to experience romantic partnership on a fuller level of their being.
Polyamory isn't my cup of tea, but it is possible to have healthy relationships with this lifestyle, including that of a family.
My son is a member of a throuple with two women. The first is his college gf who always had an open relationship, during a long distance period of their relationship he started very casually seeing girlfriend 2 but over time it got more serious and now they all live together. Things are happy and wonderful for them but I really do worry about how the dynamic would change were someone to fall pregnant.
I worry about jealousies and inequalities rising up, but mostly I worry for my future grand babies. The societal pressures and teasing from outside the home as well as possible resentments and issues within the home. I can see how, if things work the way they are planned, it could be a wonderfully supportive and rewarding way to grow up, but you know what they say about the plans of mice and men!
So I actually really appreciate the insight of this thread, I want to be supportive of my beloved throuple but part of being supportive is discussing possible pitfalls in hopes of avoiding them and this has already highlighted some. It's also pointed out some of the positives, so thank you.
Who?Ummm GIF by memecandyGiphy
When Dads said "Go ask your mom," I was always confused.