It’s a famous movie trope: a troubled character sits on a bench and suddenly meets a wise stranger who knows exactly how to solve their problem and, in turn, totally changes their life.
It happens in real life too. A few weeks ago, a stranger told me that marriage is like the worst thing a boyfriend has done to me, multiplied by 30. I don’t know how accurate that is — she could have just been healing from a bad break-up — but now I can’t help but use that to gauge whether or not a relationship is worth sticking with.
It was a random, life-changing encounter, and it got me thinking — do other people have interactions like this too?
We asked the VICE readers: What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from a stranger?
“No one can destroy iron, but its own rust can. Likewise, a person’s mindset can destroy his or hers.”
“Comfort is a drug. The comfort zone is where dreams go to die.”
“If you don’t like where you are right now, leave. Just leave.”
“Just say 'thank you' — no apologizing, no self-deprecating humour.”
“It’s important to be broke at least once in your life. Welcome it, it builds resilience.”
“Stop chasing your passion and just grab opportunities.”
“Don’t be stupid!”