“Advice To youth” by Mark Twain is basically a short little composition that he was asked to write to the youth’s of America. Basically it was just meant to be something to be educational and useful in life. I think that what he said back then is just as true today as it was back then when he wrote it.
He starts off by saying that you should always listen to what your parents say even if you don’t agree because if you try to rebel against them you’ll just get into an argument and after being punished you’ll be forced to do what they said anyway. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or not just listen to them; you’ll save yourself the hassle of fighting with your parents and ruining your relationship with them. That’s advice that we all have heard, but find impossible to follow growing up. It always ends up with us punished and us having to do something we didn’t want to do plus some other stuff.
He says that you should always respect your superiors whether they’re strangers, family or friends. If someone does something to disrespect and your not sure whether it was intentional or not you should hit them with a brick and then if you find out that he didn’t mean any harm you should be a man and tell the person you hit with the brick that you were the one who did it. He said that you shouldn’t fight and just try to talk it out, let bygones be bygones. The first half of this advice is correct; we should respect our elders even if they are wrong.
As for hitting someone who offended you miss intentionally or otherwise, if we were to do this in today’s society we would all have to carry weapons on us at all times and we’d all leave a trail of bodies everywhere we went. It’s best just to ignore dumb remarks that are made by even dumber people and get on with life. There is too much ignorance in this world, one person won’t be able to make a difference with something like this.
In the third paragraph he says the old cliché “early to bed, early to rise”. Then he talks about getting up at different times and how whatever wakes you up will change your attitude. He trained a bird to wake him up at nine thirty every morning, so I guess it makes him optimistic to wake up to a lark chirping. I guess that’s true, but in today’s world no one gets enough sleep; everyone goes to bed late, wakes up early and is always tired. Alarm clocks are a pain to wake up to and so are radios. The sounds of nature wouldn’t wake most people up because we have gotten used to loud noises, so low noise wouldn’t make us shudder. Most of us wake up to the buzzing or beeping of a blaring alarm clock, which makes us angry and groggy. We spend most of the morning dazed and confused and at night tired and lazy.
He then talks about lying; he says that you refrain from lying as much as humanly possible unless you are skilled at it. If your a bad liar then you shouldn’t lie because it will usually be slanderous and if you get caught spreading lies you’ll be branded a liar by everyone. This is obvious advice that most people have taken. Most people are good at lying because they have been practicing for years. To become successful you need to be able to lie and stick with the lie until you are on your deathbed. To hear a complete truth from anyone in today’s world is almost impossible since we all stretch the truth from time.
He then talks about guns and gun control. He says that you should have a gun in the house in case you need it, but you shouldn’t have it loaded unless you plan to use it. It should never be left unlocked or else you could get hurt if it was left accidentally loaded. He says never point a gun at a person unless you plant to kill them. This is something that most political people and lobbyists talk about allot. I agree with this completely. It’s better to have a gun and not need it then need it and not have it. A gun should never be loaded until right before you are going to use it, anyone with a gun license should know that; same goes for never point a gun at something that you don’t wish to destroy. Guns are weapons not playthings. A gun should be locked on a gun rack or have a gunlock incase someone where to get a hold of it they wouldn’t be able to do anything with it.
He then starts talking about how you should read allot, but that you should be careful of what you choose to read. He says you should only read good books having to do with religion. Reading is always a good thing to do. However, in today’s society most people are agnostic so reading about religious topics is something they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. People should read anything whether comic books, manga, manuals, how to guides or whatever. It’s all better then watching television.
He then says that if you listen to his advise you will be a good person. I agree with his statement. All of his written advice is useful stuff that you always hear but don’t care to pay attention to while growing up until it’s too late in life to do anything about it.
Mark Twain was a great writer and as it turns out; he also had allot of common sense and useful knowledge, of which he decided to share some with us in that little passage that he was asked to write. Reading it all again and responding to it enforces those ideas in my mind as I hope it will for all those who decide to do this assignment.