The best lessons we've learned from John Green
To quote the lovely Jess Tholmer: everything I need to know, I learned from John Green.
If you haven’t heard of him (have you been living under a rock?), John Green is an author and a Youtube personality, as well as my kindred spirit—and this year is his first novel’s 10th anniversary! According to Time, a special edition of Looking For Alaska is going to be released to commemorate the occasion, including “an introduction and Q&A from Green, along with original content and drafts from his original manuscript.” The new edition will also have a ton of other goodies, as well as insight into how he first drafted The Fault in Our Stars. (Commence major fangirling.)
Now, there are many beautiful contributions that our beloved John has gifted us in various forms, so as not to overwhelm myself or you, I’ve decided to touch upon each of the five Green Pillars—Vlogbrothers and his four amazing books—to get us ready for this momentous occasion.
Gather around, Nerdfighters, and open your ears!
1. Reading rocks.
If you’re not up-to-date on the John fandom, you may be wondering why in the world I just called you a “Nerdfighter.” This is the name John and his equally-awesome brother, Hank, have given the fans of their Youtube channel, Vlogbrothers.
I had seen random videos from this channel, but have recently started to watch every single one, starting from 2007, when the brothers decided to stop texting or emailing each other for an entire year and communicate purely in phone calls and video blogs, the latter of which they posted on the Internet.
We’re all extremely thankful for this fact, because each one is equal parts hilarious and enlightening. . . especially because John and Hank both love to point out just how awesome reading really is.
Book fans, take a look at this video and drool at just how beautiful John’s personal library is:
Also, take note of the first 35 seconds or so, when John so eloquently explains the importance of reading and totally shoots down the “I don’t have time to read” excuse. You rock, John.
2. Your family and your best friends can be one and the same.
As you begin to watch these videos, you’ll really start to notice that John and Hank’s relationship is the most adorable thing in the world. Really, they’re an inspiration to everyone to cherish your siblings and your family, and to constantly show them you care at every available opportunity.
Not convinced? Check out the most adorable quote in one of the earlier Vlogbrother videos, when John tells Hank, “Honestly, it occurs to me that telling you not to forget to be awesome is like telling Tom Sellac not to forget his mustache.”
Okay, I’m a newbie to the Vlogbrother fanbase, so I’m going to move on to the lessons that John has taught me through his writing over the years.
3. Anything is possible, but you have to work to get there.
Looking For Alaska was John’s first book, and is arguably one of his best. I still can’t get over how much I love this quote:
How many of us have thought about our dreams, about our wildest fantasies, as some sort of vague notion, the light at the end of the tunnel instead of a goal that we can work towards?
I often go back to this quote when I am feeling uninspired to go after my goals. The future will happen no matter what, and if we don’t take actionable steps towards creating our futures, our dreams will never become reality.
Thanks for the motivation, John.
4. You can make it through anything.
Whenever life gets difficult, I think about this amazing piece of literary gold:
If you think you’re made of tissue paper and toothpicks, then that’s how you will respond to the hardships of life. But if you think you are made of titanium (insert Pitch Perfect reference here), you are. You can make it through anything.
And if all else fails, just be reminded of the time that John Green covered his face with marker, and everything will instantly seem better:
5. EVERYTHING ABOUT LOVE.
Okay, I’m just going to throw these gorgeous love quotes at you now:
Good god. No one can describe young love (or just love in general) quite like John can.
6. The answer is always pizza.
John, you fantastic beast. You just know everything.