Sharon, Professor, Upper West Side

Sharon’s advice to her 18-year-old self: Your notion that a major goal in life to be a good person is a good one. Hang on to that. However, the main obstacle to being a good person is not what you thought: the failure and difficulty of living up to the standards you set, although that is difficult. The main difficulty is knowing what is good and how to act on it. We’re all blinded by the assumptive world into which we are born, and which we live, and as the world changes and we’re exposed to different people in different contexts, we see that our assumptive world is not the only one. So you will not make one decision about what is the right path, you’ll make that decision many times. That’s not failure. That’s growth.

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