Here are some random life lessons I've learned before hitting the big four-zero. Readers are strongly encouraged to share their agreement or disagreement of them.
Wealth and education don’t buy you class and human decency. A good role model or mentor does.
Love doesn’t conquer all. Respect and compassion do.
If there is one skill you need to master, let it be communication. It’ll get you through many life’s challenges.
Do not advertise how much work you’ve been doing. There are others who are as hard working, if not more. They just don’t say it.
Do not boast about how much you have contributed to society because there are many who have done more without turning it into a Nobel Peace Prize nomination speech.
Do not publicise how much someone owes you. It is utterly distasteful.
Let other people sing your praises. The tune is nicer and it sounds better.
Activists can be the most narcissistic people in the world. Many don’t do it out of altruism but because it makes them look good. You’ll know when they can’t resist publicising their deeds, often in subtle manners.
Do not let your guard down whenever you’re with your boss. Remember, you’re being evaluated at all time.
Losing your virginity before marriage is not the biggest deal. Neither is infidelity. There are far more important things in life to worry about.
Obtaining a higher education is optional. It doesn’t teach you about life and moral.
Practise your religion not out of fear or societal pressure, but out of conviction.
If you haven’t smoked yet, do not start. It is a stupid addiction that only benefits the tobacco companies and the rest of the institutions affiliated to making them thrive.
Do not make others look bad so that you can turn out to be the hero.
Keep your promises. Your credibility depends on it.
Every family has a dark story. Yours is not unique.
No matter how high you’ve climbed, stay grounded. Humility is a virtue that will earn you more respect.
Respect all member of the working class. No one will miss you if you go on strike but they will if the garbage collectors do. Teach that to your children.
Beware of those who talk a lot. Action speaks louder than words.
Not everyone wants to hear the truth. Some truths are better left untold.
Just because someone isn’t friendly to you, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you.
You don’t own anyone, not your girl/boyfriend, spouse or children. Every human being should be free.
Marry someone who understands and respects your individuality. You’ll know if the person allows you to speak your mind and have your space.
Nothing is too silly to learn. Learn as much as possible. All the little skill you think you’re too good for will lead you closer to independence and empowerment.
Don’t bother asking what romantic love is. You’ll never really know and you’ll still be asking after you thought you’ve found it.
Being feminine does not make you a lesser feminist. It just makes you a pretty damn sexy one.
The greatest thing you can give your children is their independence. Don’t mollycoddle them. Let them learn and take responsibility for their mistakes. You won’t be there to protect them forever.
Help your family and closest friends first before you help others. Otherwise, you’re just a hypocrite.
Getting old is a bitch and you never know when it’s going to bite you. Use sun screen and anti-ageing products even before you think you need them. Oh, and eat well and exercise, exercise, exercise.
Never give up on a chance to travel when you can. You may never have that chance again.
Smile a lot. It will get you out of many ugly situations.
Have a brutally honest discussion with your potential spouse. Having children, fidelity, religion, finance and care plan for your parents are at the top of the list.
Learn to say no and teach your children to respect that.
People cheat for many reasons. Often, it’s not because they want to hurt you.
Having strong principles is good, but having wisdom is better.
Don’t be too eager to bad-mouth someone. You never know what the person you speak to will do with the information, or think about you.
The wild animals you see at the zoo, circus or performance show are being taken away from their natural habitat, held in captivity, and used for our entertainment. Stay away from them.
When in an emergency situation, check whether there are any security threat to you first before going to someone’s aid. You’re no good to anyone if you’re injured yourself. They teach you this in first aid.
Private hospitals are not better than public. They only seem better because most people you know do not seek treatment in public hospitals.