Unsurprisingly, I don’t really have that many hand-me-downs in my life. In the literal sense, I don’t have any older siblings (or any siblings at all), so there hasn’t really been any clothing, toys, or other used physical possessions that I inherited. I recall cousins attempting to donate clothing to me about once or twice, but the clothing always ends up being the wrong size or looking absurdly hilarious. Even in the figurative sense, where I’m being handed down concepts, ideas, or beliefs, I feel as if I am generally underexposed to those as well. I read and gather a lot of knowledge and information from many different sources on a daily basis, but when I gain this information, I accept it in its appropriate context. For example, when I hear someone’s opinion on a particular topic, I think of it as just that – someone’s opinion. I don’t feel as if I am being handed down their beliefs that I am obligated to accept. Instead, I store that information away and tag it as “something that someone else thinks.” Overall, I’m very much of a self-doer and self-thinker. Although it’s easy and convenient to look to others for advice, I prefer to work things out and discover things on my own, and choose to do so when time or efficiency isn’t a high priority. For example, if I have a very difficult task to finish by tomorrow, I ask for help; if I have a very difficult task to finish by next year, I take the challenge and figure it out myself. Flipping this in reverse, I also don’t really like to “hand down” my beliefs as well. When someone asks me for advice, I always make sure to put it in an appropriate context by giving background information and supporting evidence. For example, when advising someone, I will always give a summary on my qualifications in that particular field, as well as the original sources where I got my information. That way, the person on the receiving end can make their own determination if I am reliable or not.
“Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.” Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/hand-me-downs/