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5. How to do your taxes

Death and taxes: life’s two inevitabilities. Seventh grade science students become intimately familiar with death as they stare into the dispassionate eyes of the frogs they’re forced to dissect, but taxes aren’t something they have a working knowledge of until they’re thrown screaming into the deep waters of adulthood.

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I didn’t have to do my own taxes until my parents stopped claiming me as a dependent on theirs. What this means is that I was already an adult, by just about every definition, by the time I had to fight my way through the IRS’ endless series of forms.

6. How to apply for a job

If I remember correctly, most of the schools I attended as a student had some kind of optional career guidance services. I’m going to emphasize the word optional because most kids either didn’t know they existed, didn’t care, or didn’t realize the significance of the opportunity.

We should teach our kids to have their eyes on the horizon; it’s never too late to start thinking about what you’ll say during an interview, or how you can spin your limited job experience into a great resume.

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7. How to argue

I’m going to close with something perhaps a little more unorthodox than the rest of the list. Like sex, death, and taxes, arguing is something we’re all going to do eventually, and probably often. And yes, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.

More important, even, than the art of the Socratic debate, is the idea that all of us have an obligation to explore – notice I didn’t say agree with – points of view that are different from our own. Imagine how much more tolerable Christians and atheists would be if both parties focused not on their differences but instead on a common truth: that life is so much better for everyone if you just be the most decent person you can be.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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