It’s easy to have a cynical view of the world. Skim any news site and you’ll find a veritable rainbow of human depravity and stupidity—people are having sex with dogs (and bragging about it), selling underwear in order to buy heroin, and even winning Grammys for Best Dance Recording. Humans are ugly creatures. We could go up to people and ask them about the worst shit they’ve ever taken while tripping on shrooms and get tons of gut-wrenching answers—but you know what? We’re tired of doing that. We’ve had a long week and we need some fucking positivity in our lives. We wanted strangers to tell us something that would cheer us up, so we asked them what the smartest thing they ever did was.
Chris, student: Pass my English regents.
Why was that so smart?
Because I had to remember three books I read in the past and compare them in many different ways. I also had to answer a series of multiple-choice questions and a lot of essay writing, so I feel like that made me smarter.
Jennifer, dog walker and singer: Read Atlas Shrugged.
It feels like an accomplishment—and it was long and hard. I think the Republicans always get it wrong, so I read it pre-election so that I could argue with Paul Ryan fans… ‘cause he’s a fucking idiot.
Alex, graphic designer: Go to college. Because in today’s economy without a college education, there’s not as many jobs and opportunities for you. Going to college and getting a master’s degree in graphic design has really given me the opportunity to excel in life.
TJ, social worker: Hmm… I guess I’m hoping it will be going back to grad school.
What about what you’ve already done?
Buying buy-one-get-one-free shoes.
What kind of shoes were they?
One pair was boots and the pair I got for free was sandals. So one was winter and one was summer.
That is smart.
Thibaut, sales manager: The smartest thing was when I made the decision of being a ball boy at the French Open when I was younger and I played tennis. That meant taking care of the balls during a game and I think it was a very smart decision for me because I got to meet all the players and I got to be kind of famous during that time. It takes a lot of time and energy, but when you achieve it, you can stand out and it’s a big accomplishment.
Thomas, musician: Listen to my instincts.
Give me some examples.
Seeing warning signs. Instead of just foolishly believing and believing in oblivious hope, I just believed in what I saw in front of my face.
Sounds vaguely intelligent.
If you are doing anything counterproductive towards progression in your life than it’s probably something you shouldn’t be doing. The best advice I can give is to just follow your instincts.
Kyra, student: Come live in New York. I moved from Long Island. It was the best decision for my career, my future, and everything. There are so many things at your fingertips in New York City.
Did Long Island suck?
No, I like it.
Previously - Is the Royal Fetus Going to Be a Good Monarch?