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Book Freak #69: Advice for Graduates (and Everyone Else)


Book Freak

December 3 · Issue #69 · View online

Short pieces of advice from books

Carl Hiaasen is the author of fourteen previous novels, including the best sellers Bad Monkey, Lucky You, Nature Girl, Razor Girl, Sick Puppy, Skinny Dip, Star Island, and five best-selling children’s books, Chomp, Flush, Hoot, Scat, and Skink. His most recent work of nonfiction is Dance of the Reptiles, a collection of his columns from The Miami Herald. Here are four pieces of advice from his book, Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You’ll Never Hear.

Change somebody's world
“You won’t change the whole world, but you’ll change somebody’s world - and for the better. And, just as inevitably, some of you won’t. You’ll park your principles in the long-term lot and spend your future taking advantage of people.?
Relish every moment of happiness that comes your way
“Here’s all I know about happiness: It’s slippery. It’s unpredictable. It’s a different sensation for everyone. But one thing happiness is not is overrated. When you luck into some, enjoy every minute.”
Choose not to participate in carnage
“We’re much more efficient at carnage now. Try your very hardest not to participate.”
Hiaasen's short guide to life
“To sum up:
  • Figure out what you’re good at, and get better at it. Along the way, don’t waste your time on people whose decency isn’t apparent when you first meet for a cup of coffee. Be an astute judge of character, and learn to judge quickly.
  • Read the news. Pay attention. Always aspire to act in a way that cancels out someone else’s cruel or stupid behavior.
  • Never stop worrying. Live each day as if your rent is due tomorrow.
  • And always, always be the one who sleeps near the campfire — the one who would make Darwin proud.”
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Book Freak is published by Cool Tools Lab, a small company of three people. We run the Cool Tools website, a podcast, a video review YouTube channel, and a few other newsletters, including Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales, What’s in my bag? and Recomendo. You can support our work by becoming a patron via Patreon.
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