S. Maxam wants to resurrect the dead art of giving advice.
The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.
-Henry Ward Beecher
The art of giving advice is dead in America. There is now an industry of self-help which espouses the very important virtue of self-empowerment but that is totally different from giving actual advice. This also intersects with the our collective lack of respect of expertise and wisdom. We all can’t know how to do everything.
Definition of advice - an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action,conduct, etc.
Advice-giving invokes risk on the part of both participating parties. If I am giving you advice I must accept that you will 1. totally ignore my advice or 2. my advice may not actually work. The person receiving the advice must accept that by doing what the “advisor” suggested that they must accept their compliance in the failure of the advice not working.
Why is advice dead in our country? Because people want to give every idea equal weight. This is the “false equivalency” problem aka everyone’s opinion is equally valid. Nope. Some ideas are just dumb. It is similar to our lack of conviction in calling out politicians when they lie. What kind of Orwellian language manipulation malarkey is that.
Exhibit A: We may define false equivalence as when when someone falsely equates an act or idea of one as being equally egregious to that of another without also considering the underlying differences which may make the comparison invalid or unfair.
Facts are exactly that – facts. Your interpretation and implementation of the facts is your personal choice but let us not confuse the two.
Driving while intoxicated is a bad idea. Have thousands if not millions of people drove while inebriated – Yes. Have they gotten to their destination safely – Yes. Does that mean you should drink and drive – No.
Confusing freedom of choice with bad choices or bad advice isn’t sound logic. Also advice isn’t telling someone exactly what to do… good advice is just offering a alternative way of doing based on another hopefully more informed perspective.
Please share this with friends, enemies and temporary allies alike.
Thank you so much for reading, sharing and commenting.
Flickr image via Anderson Mancini