Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advice, and the people who give/take it.

I realized today that, while I was giving advice to a friend, the advice I was giving was something that I myself needed to heed. Thinking back on all of the times I have provided my opinion or some piece of, hopefully useful, advice; I realized that, in many of those occasions, the advice I gave wasn't something that I adhered to in my own life. In those cases where I did abide my own, in almost all of those case I was now not keeping to that standard. It actually made me quite sad.

They say the hardest lessons are the ones you visit on yourself. Well, this was a tough pill to swallow for me. I like to think I have given good advice, but given my past history of not following through on it myself, I begin to wonder. A big moment for me was while listening to the clip from Cool Hand Luke that I am using in a jingle for the podcast that Amber Graner and I are discussing the resurrection of. "What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach." Clearly, in this case, I was the person who couldn't be reached even though the teacher was the same person.

It brought into sharp relief those times that people tell us they understand something and then continue life in the same manner as before. Understanding does not indicate acceptance of a set of circumstances, nor does it indicate a willingness to work toward whatever goal is a result of the idea or advice. It seems I will have to pay closer attention to myself before I am comfortable giving advice to anyone else. How can I consider it sound if I am not willing to take it?

~JFo

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