THINK ON THESE | Advice: A piece of your mind

“All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to
receive help from other people.” – Alexis Carrel


Every now and then, we received e-mails from people: some are trivial, others are very interesting. There are few which are very intriguing and even catch your immediate attention.

“Never give advice unless asked,” reminds a German proverb. Carolyn Wells reminded: “Advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive.” P.G. Wodehouse countered: “I always advise people never to give advice.”

But on second thought, Brendan Francis declared: “People who ask our advice almost never take it. Yet we should never refuse to give it, upon request, for it often helps us to see our own way more clearly.”

Agatha Christie pointed out: “Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.”

The words of Francis Bacon came haunting: “He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.”

Adlai Stevenson added: “We should be careful and discriminate in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don’t follow when it damages those who take us at our word.”

The Holy Bible has given us Ten Commandments. American president Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, has written “A Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical life.”

Of course, you probably know who Rick Warren is. Yes, he is the man behind the best-selling, The Purpose Driven Life. Recently, a close friend sent me “the greatest advice,” which Warren himself has penned:

“Don’t date because you are desperate. Don’t marry because you are miserable. Don’t have kids because you think your genes are superior. Don’t philander because you think you are irresistible.

“Don’t associate with people you can’t trust. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t pretend. Don’t dictate because you are smarter. Don’t demand because you are stronger.

“Don’t sleep around because you think you are old enough and know better. Don’t hurt your kids because loving them is harder. Don’t sell yourself, your family, or your ideals. Don’t stagnate!

“Don’t regress. Don’t live in the past. Time can’t bring anything or anyone back. Don’t put your life on hold for possibly Mr. Right. Don’t throw your life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.

“Learn a new skill. Find a new friend. Start a new career. Sometimes, there is no race to be won, only a price to be paid for some of life’s more hasty decisions.

“To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless. To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy. To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy. Don’t bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.

“To make yourself happy, pursue your passions and be the best of what you can be. Simplify your life. Take away the clutter. Get rid of destructive elements: abusive friends, nasty habits, and dangerous liaisons. Don’t abandon your responsibilities but don’t overdose on duty.

“Don’t live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family. Be true to yourself. Don’t commit when you are not ready. Don’t keep others waiting needlessly.

“Go on that trip. Don’t postpone it. Say those words. Don’t let the moment pass. Do what you have to, even at society’s scorn. Write poetry. Love Deeply. Walk barefoot. Dance with wild abandon. Cry at the movies.

“Take care of yourself. Don’t wait for someone to take care of you. You light up your life. You drive yourself to your destination. No one completes you – except YOU.

“It isn’t true that life does not get easier with age. It only gets more challenging. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose your capacity to love. Pursue your passions. Live your dreams. Don’t lose faith in God. Don’t grow old. Just grow YOU!

“When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give to someone is your time.

“Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E because the essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.”

Warren ended his greatest advice with these lines: “God is good all the time!”

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