Straight Advice for a Younger Generation

Now that I have succeeded in reaching the venerable age of sixty years (not that I actually regard myself as being worthy of veneration), I presumably am endowed with a measurable degree of hard-earned wisdom. Perhaps that is true, or perhaps it is not true (altogether more likely), but, either way, here are some pieces of straight advice from a careworn oldster, which are humbly intended for the benefit of anyone who happens to be a member of the younger generation.

Never imagine that you can pocket huge amounts of money without, in the process of doing so, becoming a figure of evil.

Always be aware that the masses usually are inclined to move in the wrong direction, so it generally is best to turn your back on them and go the other way.

Be careful not to spend too much of your time engaged in capitalist drudgery, because once your time is spent, it is gone forever.

As you muddle through life, keep in mind that, unfortunately, the world contains more madness than sanity, more violence than peace, and more hate than love.

Never be fooled into putting your faith in anything whose origin is directly connected to politics, business, or religion.

Be prepared to push against the petty restraints of convention, especially when they are used to support long-standing structures of prejudice and inequity.

Always remember that those who surrender to conformity and compromise will thereby lose the most vital elements of themselves.

Never cease to seek a durable purpose for yourself, but be wary of stumbling into the convenient snare of self-delusion.

Avail yourself of every opportunity to laugh, loudly and heartily, particularly when your laughter comes at the expense of someone in authority.

Be steady and forthright in all things, and do not allow your actions to be governed by shallow feelings of craven meekness.

Never believe that war is anything other than an immoral undertaking, carried out by murderous people for the purpose of achieving murderous aims.

Always accept the necessity of self-discipline, because if you do not discipline yourself, it will be done, harshly and randomly, by someone else.

Resist the empty allure of technology, and be suspicious of handy devices that have the ability to subvert your mind.

Never forget that if you wish to maintain the full value of your human character, you must strive to be truthful, even if it annoys people and results in difficult situations.

Look closely at everyone around you, and avoid the companionship of those who appear to derive undue satisfaction from their own motives.

Do not part with your integrity for any reason, because without it, you are nothing.

One last piece of advice:

Always take into account that no one, including the person who is writing these words, can ever be certain of everything.