The Best Advice I Ever Have Received: Don’t give advice, whether when asked or (especially!) when unsolicited.
Even if I, given who I am and what I’ve experienced, believe that I possess good advice to give (largely based on dreams fulfilled or pitfalls avoided), my personhood and life’s history are not (never can be) the same as that of another (any other) person.
As common is our humanity, specific is our individuality, one-to-another, one-from-another, as expressed in our thoughts and feelings, desires and needs, observations and opinions, reflections and aspirations, likes and dislikes.
Thus, there neither is nor can be any precise one-to-one correspondence between my historic and situational context and that of another (any other) person (which, if that was true, might portend the feasibility of another hearing and heeding my counsel with the potential of achieving similar results).
Moreover, in my experience, most people, even when asking me for my advice, don’t want it. What most people desire from me is that I listen to them. Hear them. Accord them the sacredness of compassionate attention. And my acting too quickly (or even slowly) to give advice is to interrupt another’s always risk-taking act of transparent, naked self-disclosure. To give advice is to supplant the sharing of a chapter or verse of another person’s life-story with my own.
More to come…
© 2021 PRA
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