Stop and listen to advice

Jack Goldfisher

A few years ago, I watched an episode of “Suits” with a friend of mine who was an avid fan. I wasn’t particularly fond of it, but perhaps that was because it had been hyped up so much. Harvey’s bombast and Mike’s humble cool were entertaining, but didn’t grab me or inspire me to watch the series on my own. However, after a few recent impassioned appeals from friends who watched the show, I decided to re-watch the pilot episode.

As anyone who bothers to watch my inconsistently funny Snapchat stories knows, that was the start of a remarkable streak of binge watching. I’m now fully caught up on “Suits,” and while I still don’t think the show has the same artistic merit as one like “Breaking Bad” or “The Sopranos,” it’s furiously entertaining and predictable in a very comforting way.

I now lament that it took several endorsements from my friends for me to start watching the show. I feel like I was missing out on something that I had dismissed as not worth my time a long time ago. Then I remembered math teacher Kevin Weis’ Moment In Contemplation talk from earlier on this year, which implored students to revisit things they had disliked in the past.

While Weis used his experiences with food to illustrate his point, I wish I had taken his advice and revisited “Suits” earlier. If I hadn’t been begged to start watching “Suits,” I probably never would have tuned in, and would have missed out on both hours of entertainment and a chance to validate a piece of advice that I’ll now carry with me throughout my life. I change, and so do my tastes, so it’s crucial to give things second chances.

I started to think about what other pieces of advice have passed me by, be they conveyed through MIC talks or through conversations with a family member or friend.

So often if the lesson someone is trying to teach us isn’t directly correlated to the problem we’re grappling with, it whizzes by us and we forget it.
The day Mr. Weis was telling us to give ourselves a three-year second chance rule, I was probably preoccupied with a math test or English paper, but I would’ve been wise to heed his advice. I wonder what other lessons have passed me by that would’ve helped me more fully enjoy my time at school, at home or in my relationships with friends and family. I can’t count the times I’ve been told to be more adventurous, but I still had to learn the lesson several times firsthand before I lent this advice any credibility.

So the next time somebody stops you to impart some wisdom or you have a chance to listen to someone hoping to guide us youthful rascals into more successful futures, take a minute and listen, because it might mean something as small as discovering a show you like or as big as helping you lead a happier life.