I enjoy reading the various “best of” and “worst of” lists that come out at the end of the year. One variation of that theme that caught my eye last December was a crowdsourced “Best Advice You Received This Year” list. I was fascinated by the variety and (often) the pertinence of the advice for me! Here’s a sampling.

  • “In your closet and your life, subtract whenever you add.”
  • “Stop and recognize happy moments when you’re in the middle of them. Literally stop and say out loud, ‘This is a happy time.’”
  • “Parent the child you have. Stop trying to make your child quieter, louder, more outgoing, more interested in things their sibling likes; appreciate the unique small person you’ve been given.”
  • “Everyone is going through something.”
  • “I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days is 100 percent, and that’s pretty good.”
  • “Be where your feet are.”
  • “Don’t pickle things. In other words, if you have something special, use it now.”
  • “If there were a right way to raise a child, everyone would do it the same way.”
  • “Never accept work where you’re not learning.”
  • “Move your body every day.” (My version of this is, “Moving is winning.”)
  • “You don’t always have to have the last word with your children.”
  • “You cannot learn anything when you are talking.”
  • “Walk toward the monster (the pain, the scary thing, the grief).”
  • “Things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” (Advice from a wedding coordinator.)

I’ve been told that people don’t like to be given advice. But the fact that advice lists exist (and that I enjoy them!) suggests to me that it’s not that we don’t appreciate sage advice; rather, it may have more to do with who is giving the advice or how that advice is being offered. God pity the poor person who is “above” advice; even more so for the one who refuses to benefit from the wisdom of Scripture.

For our high school graduates, I’m sure you’ll be receiving lots of advice as you wrap things up. Here are three tidbits from me as your move into the excitement of all that yet awaits you. “Remember you are deeply loved–by God and by all of us.” “When in doubt, practice generosity.” “Enjoy the gift of each day–even the overcast ones.”

Andy Wall
Author: Andy Wall