Hello there, Shakira.

Shakira Sison asked me some questions over at Ask.fm. It was because I previously said I’d like to have a question from her; her questions, as I expected, do not disappoint:

As promised: If you could give some advice to youngsters reading this on how to be a more interesting, intelligent, and witty adult, what would you tell them? Pang byucon ba? Flilow-up Q: Why did you decide to become an LGBT advocate? What inspired you and how come others aren’t as motivated?‎

Beau-con levels nga. I’ll answer each question in separate sections.

If you could give some advice to youngsters reading this on how to be a more interesting, intelligent, and witty adult, what would you tell them?

Asyumera na, pero thank you for considering me an “interesting, intelligent, and witty adult”, or at least someone capable of influencing people to be as such.

But I will base my answer on other people and friends whom I consider to be interesting, intelligent, and witty adults.

  • Do not take life so seriously. Moments of random craziness are good, as long as you do not leave a trail of dead bodies behind you; people do find that interesting, but not in a good way.
  • Do not apologize about who you are or where you came from. Embrace your roots and acknowledge your influences. You are no longer the person you were five years ago, but that person helped build who you are right now.
  • Welcome people into your life. Be genuinely interested in other people. Share what you know and be open to people sharing themselves to you.
  • Read. Fiction and non-fiction. Science and the arts. The news. Other people’s posts and comments. Recipes and instruction manuals. Poetry and advertisements. Even the graffiti inside public restrooms. Read and think about why those things were written.
  • Do hobbies. Work with your hands. Learn how to cook. Listen to music. Watch movies and plays. Go to museums and art galleries. Take an active interest in something.
  • Do not be afraid to talk to strangers every once and a while, even if it was just to say “thank you”. If people do kind things to you, you should always say “thank you”.
  • Do not immediately take offense if someone disagrees with you. Do not be afraid to disagree with another person.
  • Crack a joke. Even if it was corny. Even if you laugh before the punchline. Even if you think other people will not get the joke.
  • You do not have to believe everything here that I tell you.

Why did you decide to become an LGBT advocate? What inspired you and how come others aren’t as motivated?‎

Because I wanted to do something beyond selfish reasons. Because I wanted to make my and other people’s life a little better. Because I realized the world isn’t as pretty or as comfortable as I thought it was. Because I’m gay. Because I’m no longer young.

Someone once asked me something like: at what point does one consider him or herself an activist? I said one becomes an activist when one initiates actions beyond one’s self-interests, because one knows that the world does not revolve around one’s life only.

I had a good life, all things considered. I’m lucky. I want to help make other people’s lives a little bit better, for those who were not as lucky as I am.

That other people are apathetic about the condition of others is frustrating, but I try not to measure their actions against what I think is important. We all value things differently: what is important to me isn’t important for other people and their perspective is just as valid as mine.

There are days when I have to remind myself of that last bit I emphasized. I should not question too much what motivates other people. The only person who should be answerable to my standards is myself.

Jade, Kia, and Bern.

Thank for these questions, Kia.