Listen but don’t Agree

By: Jennifer Jing

Kids with bright futures,

Always listen, but do whatever you believe feels right after all.

Don’t be easily swayed.

If you like tennis, don’t choose track and field for your third term PE because all your friends are runners and long-jumpers.

If you see a weed smoker lying in the corner, greedily extending his hand for more weed, and you feel a sudden compassion rising in your soul, go ahead and give him a few dollars, even though your mom tries to drag you away.

Vice versa, if a passionate cashier has been grinding you to donate to support children in Syrian refugee camps, and you simply don’t want to, say “No thanks”.

Be nice to everyone.

But don’t be afraid to voice your different opinions.

Be open to talk to others, and to share your stories.

But don’t be afraid to say “Sorry I can’t tell you” when asked to share something you are not comfortable sharing. You all have sparkles of precious memories you want to keep to yourselves.

Ask when questions arise.

Approach people when you feel lonely.

If you fear that others won’t respond to your enthusiasm with theirs, think about the equal possibility that they will.

You never know what you can get out of a well-intentioned attempt, but you know for sure that you will wonder what the outcome could have been if you didn’t put it into action.

Try plenty of cuisines from all over the world.

Rather than listening to music with your earphones, play music out loud with a portable speaker, preferably the fancy JBL one with gradient colours called “Pulse”.

Don’t listen to music while doing homework, because if you are a keen musician, you will unconsciously pause your pencil,  transfer all your attention to the pitch, the timbre, the beats, and wonder how such seamless transition from chest voice to falsetto is possible.

Try fries with vanilla ice cream: they taste better than with ketchup.

Write diaries

Not to keep track of your life stories, but to prepare an amusement for your older self.

Respect people who are willing to give you advice or to point out your mistakes in your face.

Comments may be harsh, but they don’t lack sincerity.

However, it is not to assume that commenters know exactly what you have been through.

So listen, reflect, and balance your judgement.

But don’t feel obliged to agree; don’t easily change your belief for someone else.
Only change when you can convince your own heart.