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9 Life Lessons From the 2015 Oscars

On the surface, there isn’t much to be learned from watching the Academy Awards. Sure, there’s the obvious—like “Birdman” is apparently good enough to win best picture and Patricia Arquette has to make more room on her mantel for another win for “Boyhood.” Also new information? Lady Gaga can really sing. Not to mention the annual reminder that celebrities sure do clean up nice (well, most of them).

But if you’re like me, then you’re always searching for nuggets of knowledge and helpful hints wherever and whenever you can—even while watching the Oscars.

Here are nine things I learned this year—lessons to be handed down to our children and for all of us to live by.

1. Call your mom.

J. K. Simmons may have taken home an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in "Whiplash,” but we won with his advice for us all:

“If I may—call your mom, everybody. I’ve told this [to], like, a billion people, or so. Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call 'em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell 'em you love 'em, and thank them and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”

2. If you do a bondage film, don’t try to force your mom to go see it.

Let’s learn a valuable lesson from the mother/daughter duo of Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson. If your mom doesn’t want to see you tied up in some rich guy’s playroom, don’t force her. And if your daughter happens to follow some kind of career path, where an event like this is captured on film, you do not—I repeat, you do not!—need to watch it. Just let it go, for reals.

3. If the music starts playing, just keep talking.

If you have something to say, don’t let anyone (or any full orchestra) drown you out. Just keep talking and let yourself be heard.

4. Stand up for what you believe in.

If you have something super-duper important to say, you’re given a mic and have access to billions of people, then do what Patricia Arquette did and say it! The best supporting actress (for "Boyhood") seized the opportunity to share these words:

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Bonus: You might get Meryl Streep to totally give you a “you go, girl” ovation.

5. Stay weird.

Graham Moore, who won the best adapted screenplay Oscar for "The Imitation Game," stole the show with a powerful and very personal message:

"I tried to commit suicide at 16, and now I'm standing here," he said. "I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different and then, when it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along."

6. Don’t touch people’s faces.

Don’t pull a Travolta. Yes, the person you're standing in front of may be beautiful, charming and/or irresistible, but unless you are related to them or dating them, do not paw at their face.

7. Open your eyes. Selma is now

After Common and John Legend won the award for the Best Original Song, they shared their “Glory” with a very important message that raises awareness for an important topic:

"'Selma' is now," Legend began. "The struggle for justice is now. The Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. Right now, the struggle for justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people march with our song, we want to tell you: We see you, we are with you, we love you, and march on."

8. The “Sound of Music” will never go out of style.

Even in the hands, albeit very capable hands, of Lady Gaga, we were all reminded that “The Sound of Music,” which turns 50 this year, will never, ever go out of style.

9. Always thank your parents.

Always.

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