"What's the best advice you've ever received?"

The latest video in SoulPancake's series of videos in which people of all ages answer the same question is a shining example of how perspectives and priorities change as we age.


All GIFs from SoulPancake.

Now obviously, there are more factors in play than simply age. Gender, race, religion, and just ... life itself dictate that no two people will have the same lived experience. But there are some patterns and universal lessons.

The most striking advice came from some of the youngest interviewees.

Be nice to others, be yourself, and treat others the way you'd like to be treated are core lessons far too many of us seem to forget (or ignore) as we grow older.

People of a wide range of ages stressed the importance of leading and following dreams.

"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." is a quote often attributed to Oscar Wilde (though it doesn't seem as though he actually coined that phrase). It's also the advice one of the interviewees gave, and echoed in the answers provided by others.

Finishing what you start (so long as what you start is worthwhile) is another great piece of advice that surfaces in the video.

Some seem to have been shaped through lived experience perhaps not so positive.

Whether we're talking about relationships or professional and personal mishaps, sometimes we learn the best lessons when things don't go right. Some of the best lessons the world has to offer come as the result of failure or embarrassment.

I don't know exactly what happened with this 10-year-old boy and a cheeseburger, but let's hope it wasn't too traumatic.

Others touched on the importance of learning, keeping an open mind, and trusting yourself.

It's so important to remain open-minded, and to never feel as though your days of learning have come to a close. Whether you're 5, 25, 50, or 80, there's still more of the world to explore.

And others, especially from the more experienced interviewees, focused on family.

Caring for family was top of this 105-year-old's mind. (I guess SoulPancake couldn't find a 100-year-old, but hey, an extra five years is even better, right?)


What's the best piece of advice you've ever received, and how has that answer changed throughout your life?

Are there lessons you've sidelined that might be worth revisiting? Have you challenged your belief systems in recent memory? Have you learned anything new lately?

You're never too old to learn something new. You're never too old to stop growing.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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Katie Peters shared a day in the life of pandemic teaching and pleaded for teachers to be given grace.

Teachers are heroes under normal circumstances. During a pandemic that has upended life as we know it, they are honest-to-goodness, bona fide superheroes.

The juggling of school and COVID-19 has been incredibly challenging, creating friction between officials, administrators, teachers, unions, parents and the public at large. Everyone has different opinions about what should and shouldn't be done, which sometimes conflict with what can and cannot be done and don't always line up with what is and isn't being done, and the result is that everyone is just … done.

And as is usually the case with education-related controversies, teachers are taking the brunt of it. Their calls for safe school policies have been met with claims that kids aren't at risk of severe COVID, as if teachers' health and well-being are expendable. Parents' frustrations with remote or hybrid learning are taken out on the teachers who are constantly scrambling to adjust to ever-changing circumstances that make everything about teaching more complicated.

Superheroes, seriously.

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This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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