Wise(ish) Words for the modern world

Working on our books generally teaches us things that are more charmingly curious than massively helpful – from little-known creatures, to marathons that don’t require jogging, via taking inspiration from ants.

But let’s face it, life in 2018 can be a pretty bewildering experience. So if you can pick up a wise(ish) word of advice or two, wherever they come from, to help you along the way, why not?

With that in mind, here are three pieces of advice for surviving the modern world we think are pretty wise(ish).

“Avoid Googler’s Stoop. Look up every once in a while.”

Googler’s Stoop is what you get when you journey through the world with your face buried in a screen. Symptoms can include walking into things like people, lampposts, and dog poop. If left untreated Googler’s Stoop can cause you to totally miss what’s going on around you in the real world.

Imagine not seeing your friends’ faces unless it’s via their social media accounts (even if they are in the same room), or never being able to admire the incredible view that might be in front of you until someone posts a filtered photo of it online later.

Avoiding Googler’s Stoop is stupidly easy, just make sure you lift your eyes above the screen every once in a while.

“Outrage is powerful. So use it like a safety flare, not a water pistol”

Outrage is powerful. It can be used to get people to pay attention to very important things. It can make a real difference and change the world.

But if you use it all the time outrage loses its power. In a world where it sometimes seems like everyone is furiously, frothingly outraged over EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, keep in mind the fable about the boy who cried wolf.

Outrage should be used sparingly and with laser focus. Like a flare, it’s your one shot to shine a bright light on something. It doesn’t matter what side of an argument you’re on. It doesn’t matter how frustrating something is.

Save your outrage for when you need it most.

“Just because same day delivery is an option, it doesn’t mean it’s a better option.”

The thing with not waiting for anything, is that you don’t necessarily really enjoy it when it arrives. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and maybe the instant availability of everything from a TV series to a new car makes the heart grow listless and bored.

You want something, you order it, it arrives straight away. You take it out of the box and… you’re already looking for the next thing to order.

Not having to wait means that you have no time to allow the anticipation and the excitement to build.

I grew up at a time when just getting on the internet required a bit of patience (and a begrudging affection for the garbled symphony that was the sound of dialing up). And I have genuinely fond memories of ordering something online and impatiently counting down to delivery. There was something strangely magical about getting home from school on delivery day and seeing a parcel waiting in the hallway.

Nowadays good things can come just hours after you’ve ordered them. But the best things still come to those who wait.

Share your Wise(ish) Words

So there you have it, a few wise(ish) words from us to you. You can use them to help you get through the modern world or ignore them completely, it’s entirely up to you. Either way, hopefully they’ve given you some food for thought about the advice you might want to offer someone.

And, if you’ve wanted to make a whole book filled with advice (serious or silly) from you, your family, and your friends for someone special then take a look at our new books here.  

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