Good Advice

Have you noticed how often Twitter users give each other good advice? Quotations from the Bible jostle for place with pithy aperçus de nos jours, most of them worth thinking about and all of them producing, in me at least, a vague sense of failure. There are times when I want to shriek, ‘Enough!’ It is not that I don’t know what to do (usually), but the fact that I am clumsy/got out of bed on the wrong side today/am counting pennies/just plain cantankerous that makes it impossible for me to follow all that counsel so freely given. Perhaps we could declare a holiday from good advice, just for today, and only tweet what we ourselves would like to receive. It won’t change the world, but it might change us. It might make us gentler, kinder, more thoughtful people, quicker to listen than to speak. It might.

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11 thoughts on “Good Advice”

  1. It seems friendly to me to offer suggestions and share ideas. I’m glad to give and receive them and have never felt that wisdom quotes were directed in any but a generous spirit.

    I could be wrong, of course, but such a view does spare unproductive angst.

  2. I don’t use Twitter, but do know that I often find myself offering advice where it is not needed. A very bad habit, but it is so much easier to advise than to listen.

  3. p.s. This is to digress slightly but…

    Frequently the advice and wisdom I receive through Twitter is aimed at keeping writers writing in the face of our astronomical chances of failure in the marketplace.

    Like much advice it can arrive at a serendipitous moment.

    I firmly believe that the world is a better place if writers write, even if what they write doesn’t reach many readers.

    I also believe that the world is a better place if writers write for no one but themselves. Writers are forced to confront themselves and what they really think whether they like it or not. In some situations, it can be a safety valve and a tool for objectivity.

    The whole universe is a better place if writers write. It’s eco-friendly 🙂

  4. I’ve learned a lot over the years from people’s advice and opinions, whether I asked for them or not, agreed with them or not. As Rosy says, communication is a sharing. We take the positive with the negative and count it as part of everyday life. And Patricia, it is not a bad habit when acted out of love and concern. People can sense love and sift through advice. Nit-picking and cruel criticism is another beast entirely. I have some advice for stressed out tweeple – put the kettle on and make yourself a good cup of tea…

  5. I don’t use Twitter but in general I find that people dish out advice far too quickly without thinking whether the other person wnats it or not. It’s often more about the advice giver than the receiver, to make her/himself feel better, useful, wise, clever…… We need to takr more time to listen, really listen and be much slower to advise.

  6. Wow! One word of advice too many?

    It set me thinking though; What kinds of advice are there? And I guess the categorization of advice (by the recipient)depends on
    the giver (fount of wisdom/meddling interefering busybody);
    the time of delivery (glad I heard that before I tried to do it/NOW she tells me – too late);
    the frame of mind of the recipient (feeling fragile and easily deflated/ feeling in control and would like to be left to get on with things/feeling hassled and harried/welcoming some input for whatever reason).

    The problem is that we don’t always recognise when our advice is welcome, appropriate, uplifting, helpful, or totally at the wrong time, in the wrong words, and has the wrong effect. And we want to help – somehow.

    I hesitate to suggest any response, not even “sit down, have a cup of tea, and listen to Sandy Nelson playing ‘Let there be drums’ on full volume”… no, no, this is a good time to hold my tongue and be still…..!

    And may the peace of the Lord surround your unpacking, your heaps of things waiting to go into the right places, your searches for things that are mislaid and bring you safely and swiftly through the upheaval of the move.

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. You are clearly much more charitable than I am when it comes to the kind of trite, self-satisfied ‘advice’ I was thinking of as I scrolled through my Twitterstream this morning! Yes, of course there is a place for advice, and the wise person welcomes it. But the advice-giver needs to respect the other person and not use advice-giving as a way of satisfying some need of his/her own. The trouble is, not all of us are sufficiently self-aware to scrutinize our own motives. The path to hell, etc. If you notice any creeping tendency to prosiness in me, root it out!

    • But just think, Big Sis, when the advice givers are working on you, they’re giving someone else a break. Kinda makes you a martyr of sorts…sending you virtual hugs from Canada.

  8. Ah, advice.. both a curse and a blessing, depending on the situation.. Advice givers often never have full possession of the facts of the matter, or really see all sides of the situation.

    Best advice I ever received in my life was from my grandfather, an old Lancashireman.. His solution to whatever was stressing me? “Eee Lad.. cup 0′ tay, cup o’ tay”.. He was right, too..

    Free advice is usually worth what it cost.

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