I love Ask MetaFilter.

As a “best of the web” community weblog, Metafilter can be hit-or-miss. But the “Ask MeFi” feature is turning out to be among the most reliably educational and entertaining corners of the site. There, some of the brightest, most articulate, and clever geeks on the web come together to answer questions about anything, from programming to cars to parenting to gardening to… well, anything.

I’ve been itching to post about their mind-boggling ability to identify a song — without lyrics, without audio clips,
but only written-out notes like
doot-doot-doodle-oodle” and “nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh.” But while I was hunting down the links, another great thread turned up.

The parent of a toddler, wondering just how much of his son’s future is being shaped right now, asked: “Can you point to a single experience in your life, as a child, which
you can define as having contributed to the person you are today?

Talk about laughing and crying at the same time. Some of the answers are strange. Some of the answers are inspiring. Some are truly heart-wrenching. All are enlightening.

It’s humbling and frightening to read first-hand accounts of how often seemingly “little things” — a sarcastic comment, a flash of temper — can change someone’s life. Now I’m wondering which stupid things I’ve done have already scarred my kids for life.

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