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‘When in doubt, chocolate will help.’ Free advice from your in-house USFSP philosopher

Steven Starke, an adjunct philosophy professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP), offered up what he calls “tidbits” of advice to Connect via email for the USFSP students. 

“These are things I try to keep in mind,” Starke wrote. “I fail, on a regular basis, but it is the attempt, and the continued effort, that matters.”


Tidbits of free advice from your in-house philosopher:

“Free advice is usually worth what you paid for it, and advice you paid for, even less than that.”

 “Nothing is as monumental or as insignificant as it seems.”

“Money is a means only.”

“It is the privilege and obligation of parents to screw up their kids in unique and ever more interesting ways. You will do it too.”


“Don’t make work for yourself.”

“Don’t halfass anything important, and don’t waste your time with the unimportant. (Corollary: you will do many things that seem unimportant but are not.)”

“Despite best efforts, some motives, even your own, will remain inscrutable.”

“Your sphere of concern should be much larger than your sphere of control, but your sphere of worry should be much smaller.”


“Relationships are work.”

“Circumstances will force your hand. Good luck with that.”

“At some point, and in some things, depth over breadth. The rewards will be worth the effort.”

“Everyone you meet will know something you don’t, and vice versa. This does not diminish either of you.”

“Enlightenment – the abandonment of self-imposed minority (Kant). Work towards it, and encourage others to do the same.”

“Reflection and self-knowledge are as hard as they are satisfying.”

“When in doubt, chocolate will help.”


To read more about Dr. Steven Starke click here and check out his full profile!


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