Who would have thought Quora (the web platform that crowdsources answers to any question) would turn out to such a profound repository of everyday wisdom and fascinating perspectives on the world?

What works is that people answer with such candour and genuine thoughtfulness that it’s like an act of love. Here’s one that got me today. In answer to the question: “What are the top 10 things that we should be informed about, in life?” James Walker (ex public servant, masseur, security guard; by law an Aboriginal; by custom devil’s advocate) wrote:

– No matter what you do, you will never be able to fix your parent’s problems.

– the philosophical, economic and political ideas that dominate the world were created by people who you wouldn’t trust to walk your dog. This includes your own most cherished beliefs, not just those of your opponents. And yes, mine as well.

– the best way to judge any religion or sect is to observe countries that it has dominated for at least a century.

– If a job wounds your pride, it is good for you. If it wounds your conscience, then you are better off starving.

– A partner who cheers you on and praises you to both friends and strangers is more valuable than life itself.

– When dealing with bureaucracy, provide exactly the information asked for – no more, no less – when things are moving the way you want (no matter how slowly). If you have hit a brick wall, provide every possible piece of information to the staff, in the hope that some titbit can be exploited by the staff to change the result. Either way, be courteous and clear, and have all paperwork on you.

– Always ask available professionals for advice. Doctors, plumbers, bakers – they all have valuable information that can improve your life.

– You spend a third of your life asleep, nearly as long on your feet, and are constantly digesting food. As such invest in a good bed, good shoes, and good quality food.

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