"This Advice Applies To Everything": 20 Pieces Of Reaaaally Good Advice That Older Adults Passed Down Through Generations

    "My grandparents survived the Great Depression and passed this down to their children and grandchildren..."

    When I was younger, my great-grandma told me always to keep Ziplocs in my bag in case I came across some food I needed to pack up and take with me. I don't do that (mainly because I forget), but I'll always keep that advice in my head. Recently, I asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the pieces of advice from their parents or grandparents that have stuck with them to this day, and I'm taking notes. Here are some of the best life lessons I read:

    Note: This post contains mentions of suicide and self-harm.

    1. "I was told to 'pick and choose your battles.' I don't have to get upset or offended or say something just because I disagree. I've learned just to smile and nod and go about my day."

    A person meditating on the floor next to a bed with a book beside them, promoting mindful parenting

    2. "My dad always said to give everyone six months to show you who they really are. Usually, at that point, the mask comes off. This has helped me with friendships, dating, and work colleagues."


    3. "My grandma always used to say, 'Take the money and run!' when it came to any kind of unforeseen windfall. Whenever I feel iffy about something that worked out unusually well (an easy day at work, getting something for a sale price after the sale ended, etc.), her quote allows me to accept it, be grateful, and move on."

    Two women smiling and hugging outdoors, expressing joy

    4. "My dad always told us to treat all people the same because 'everyone puts their pants on the same way: One leg at a time."

    —Beck, 53, Illinois

    5. "When my gran was in the hospital and was having trouble walking, she stumbled into the toilet cubicle, and her hospital gown revealed her posterior. My aunt (her daughter) called out to cover herself, to which my gran exclaimed, 'Everyone has an asshole!' I laugh every time I think of this and how profound the statement actually is. No one is better than anyone else, and we are all humans with our indignities, so we should embrace them and not be embarrassed."

    Adult daughter hugging her mother on a couch, both smiling with eyes closed, expressing love and comfort

    6. "'You can say anything you want as long as you say it the right way.' Incredibly simple but immensely useful. I heard that phrase my whole life and am so glad I did. It taught me to choose my words and tone carefully and to speak to my audience. As a published editorialist and a successful (and sought-after) attorney, it's really the best advice I've ever gotten. The pen is truly mightier than the sword, as long as you know how to wield your weapon."


    7. "'Be true to your teeth, or they'll be false to you.'"

    Man in white t-shirt brushing teeth, looking at camera, promoting dental hygiene for parents article

    8. "When I was a child, my grandfather told me to never talk about how much money you have or don't have. He taught me what oversharing is and that sometimes it's okay to keep certain topics off the table."


    9. "When I was about 12, I was deciding whether to have dessert at a restaurant. My grandmother said, 'Dinner you eat with your stomach, dessert you eat with your heart.' To this day, it's the best advice I've ever heard. It comes up more often than you'd think! I love that woman — she's 86, does yoga three times a week, and is the smartest person I've ever known."

    Child enjoys an ice cream cone while sitting in a sunny garden on a striped chair

    10. "'Don't invite trouble.' When I was growing up, I thought my mom was talking about the police, but that advice applies to everything. I'm a heavy overthinker and get easily stressed and anxious, so whenever I find myself drifting to that place in my brain, I always remember not to invite trouble. If it hasn't happened, don't worry about it. It really helps me keep a level head and stay optimistic."


    11. "One of the last presents my great aunt Charlotte ever gave me was a framed picture that said, 'May you have enough clouds in your life to have a beautiful sunset.' I try to remember that when going through tough times. Life is beautiful!"

    Two people sitting in a van's open trunk, facing a sunset, with a string of lights above

    12. "The life advice that has stuck with me since I was a teenager is from my dad. He told me, 'You make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time. You can't make decisions on information you don't have.' I've used this advice more times than I can count. My dad's been gone for a couple of years, and I miss him so much."

    —Susan, 56, New York

    13. "My grandparents survived the Great Depression and passed their frugality down to their children and grandchildren. Grandma's little poem she composed would frequently remind us to be grateful for what we had, even if we didn't like it: 'Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, out do without!'"

    Family picnic by the sea with two adults and a child at a table, enjoying a sunny day

    14. "When I was learning to drive, my grandpa always stressed the importance of making sure other drivers 'commit' to what they are doing and never to assume. He said that just because someone has their turn signal on, it doesn't mean anything until the wheels are turning. This has kept me out of a ton of accidents."


    15. "Before my wedding, my grandmother told me, 'It's okay to bicker, but it's not okay to fight.' She said you need to expect disagreements, but you shouldn't let them turn nasty — no name-calling or personal attacks. My grandparents were married for over 60 years, so I trusted her advice more than my divorced mom. It's been 20 years, and my partner and I are still married and respectfully bickering."

    A man and woman embracing, smiling at the camera, in a home interior

    16. "When I came of dating age, my grandpa gave me the greatest first date advice: Never order spaghetti or fried chicken because there's no way to eat it and look cool."


    17. "My grandmother was an immigrant who worked as a cleaning lady. One thing she told me that is so true is to make your bed. No matter how spotless the rest of the room is, if the bed isn't made, it will seem dirty. Conversely, if the room is messy, a made bed will make it look much better."

    Person tucking in bed sheets, relevant to parenting and bedtime routines

    18. "My dad always said, 'What you learn when you are young, you never forget.' I've quoted him many times to my kids and other young people to encourage them to try as many things as possible!"

    Adult and two children enjoy a merry-go-round at a playground, expressing joy

    19. "My dad told me, 'It's not love unless you can fart in front of them without feeling embarrassed.' He was joking, and obviously, love is more nuanced than that, but the sentiment impacted me. You shouldn't ever feel embarrassed or overly self-conscious around someone who loves you; they should take you as you are, farts and all."


    20. Last but not least: "My sophomore year in college, I had a friend who became suicidal, and I spent the majority of the fall semester doing everything to help: taking them to counseling appointments, staying over with them most nights, rushing over to them when they called me after they self-harmed, and anything else. It got bad. Like, the counselor had to call their parents. They ended up leaving campus mid-semester to go home, and by that point, I was emotionally and mentally destroyed. I was experiencing my first depressive episode myself after probably eight weeks of helping keep my friend alive while also doing 18 credit hours. I went home for the holiday, and my mom told me, 'Everything happens for a reason; God has a plan.' That's all well and good, but I'm not religious, and it gave me no comfort to hear that there was a 'reason' for all that despair."

    Man in a buttoned shirt looking out a window, reflecting on parenting

    I don't know about you guys, but I definitely learned something new today. What is a piece of advice from your parents or grandparents that has stuck with you to this day? Let me know in the comments or you can anonymously submit using this form!

    Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.