Sunday 12 December 2010

I almost told her but stopped . . .

Life sure gets interesting with the advance of age. But there are some temptations which one has to avoid with the progress of age. One of the temptation is giving out free advice! Off late, I observe myself in some of my students and young colleagues. My students and some young friends are prone to committing the exact mistakes which I committed years ago. The pattern is the same, the texture is the same and as I notice their pitfalls, I am so very tempted to tell them: Better don't do this! or Maybe you should think about that. But I stop myself. I learned things the hard way and no matter what my seniors told me, I did not choose to heed. I went ahead and fell down headlong and arose.

But I should admit that staying away from giving advice does not come easily to me. I somehow have to say something about "When I was of your age . . ." I know that eight out of ten individuals do not appreciate free advice but still I have to chip in my two bits. Sometimes I try very hard to stop myself. I am compassionate that way. I don't try to imitate my seniors and advice the poor victims. But as one advances in age, there is this niggling urge to offer unsolicited advice.

But don't you think that age does this to all of us. We have walked a certain number of miles and that has made us into what we are. After reaching a point, when we look back we think that we could have avoided certain things. Perhaps when we see children and adolescents about to commit the same old mistakes, it is but natural for us to try and warn them. But somehow the free advice is not always taken in the way it should be taken. Therefore, I refrain. Let life teach them.

Now, I wonder what my readers have to say on this: Age and unsolicited advice.

Image: Internet


  1. very true mam..:)
    I have been following all your recent posts thanks to your facebook updates mam.
    Love the blog :)..

  2. Hey:

    A joy to see my student of few days here. How glad I am! Read your latest post on transgenders. If you didn't know, my research is on them. Shall talk to you more on that topic. Hope you are well and so is everything around you. Thanks for visiting and writing down your insights. Happy to hear from you. Take care :)

  3. Advice comes with experience hence age! We all do it and give it to those that seek or do not seek advice.
    Each one's experieces are different. No two journeys are the same. What may work for one may not work for the other.
    Trust between the giver and reciever is a must before one can part with advice.
    Am curious to read what your other readers have to say.

  4. We end up being that which we disliked in our younger years, I'm convinced. Hopefully, a little more refined than they way we experienced it.
    I do often offer a comment, not so much an advice to my kids "you will change your mind as you get older, I did"
    On Transgenders...when I went to college, I did a paper on them. What a great topic and how so very much misinterpretted.

  5. I am learning not to do that.. giving free advice. I think it is not something that comes with age. It is .. the regret we carry about certain things. We try to make do by correcting it for others.

  6. In all communication, there must be a receiver. If the person is not receptive to advice, it will probably just be ignored, and/or the relationship will suffer. Best to give it when requested. Otherwise, stand back and see how life unravels for others.

    Great of you to think about this.

  7. I am still catching myself from offering advice when not asked for it. well... at least i'm aware of it.

    thanks for your post
    take care my friend!

  8. Dearest Susan,

    I love to say...'when I was your age', that surely reminds me I've walked a few many miles. I usually give advice to my niece (romantic as she can be), and I tell her 'don't you ever suffer for a man, don't you ever tell them that you fancy them or you are lost... take care of this and of that...' And while I am telling her I know she loves the fact I had experiences too, but she's going to make those mistakes no matter what.

    So I don't know- sometimes it might work, sometimes , if you are to it, you'll go for it despite anyone's advice...
    Everyone must live their own life and get their own disappointments- we cannot prevent the young from being young and willing to experience LIFE!


  9. i dunno...i have always figured it is better to hear from someone who has been there as opposed to one only on the i tend to listen..but not always follow...

  10. I would nt mind handing out adivices...but these advices are something sweet when given and better pill to take.

    But...admitting the fact that you had been there and therfore can say that it's a mistake(in other words you had done the same mistake) perhaps gives you the moral authority to hand over advices

  11. When I was young, I hated when people offered advices when I did not ask for them.;) I am still that way and therefore I do not offer advices to others, unless they directly ask for my opinion, even though I can see they are making a mistake. As it is impossible to be exactly in someone else shoes.;) Then again as you say, making mistakes shapes our lives and makes us who we are, thus sometimes leaving them to do so instigates a lesson learned.
    Have a great Monday dear Susan,

  12. I guess it's but natural. The person giving away 'free' advice is obviously concerned about the other and wants to make sure that he/she doesn't make the same mistakes and such. Fact is, most of us don't like 'advice'. My advice is, advise those who think it matters. For the rest, life is a great teacher. Great post!

  13. I would say, let them not repeat the mistake you committed. Let them make new mistakes, learn from those ones. And that can happen, when you inform them how to avoid the mistakes you made.

  14. Hey Susan,

    How have you been all these days? Hope things are good at your end.
    You might have noticed I went missing for sometime. Been busy with a lot of stuff lately. My updates are out there in my blog. Stop by when u get time.

    So coming back to ur post.
    Yeah I dont give advices to others unless they ask for my opinion. coz its none of my business. And I myself dont like others advising me unless I ask for it. But sometimes I do, to some people who are very close to me. I just dont want them to repeat the same mistakes I committed. :)


  15. The young don't like to listen to advise. It seems to fuel defiance and get the opposite response.
    With the young, you don't really give advise, you offer an opinion and get their reaction and then get them to buy the idea as their own.

    A kid today and a kid 30 years ago are really quite worlds apart.

  16. Susan Deborah, I would seriously advise you to........WAIT A MINUTE! What is the TOPIC here? Ooops.

    Always I have disliked 'receiving' advice. Always have I given it--freely! In the past I felt guilty about that. But now age lets me give it out--and happily walk away

    Ask me any question, I will give you an answer whether or not I know it.

  17. I have always been one to refrain from giving out free advice because... well, I don't like to receive it, myself. But if I am specifically asked what my thoughts are, I give my thoughts gladly, but not before checking with the person that they truly do want my thoughts. Sometimes people ask us for advice out of what they think is a sense of duty or obligation. I just like to remind people that they don't owe me anything as it concerns their personal issues and that I will gladly give my opinion if it is truly desired.

    Life can get so very complicated, at times. And my personal experiences are colored with my circumstances. So, how can I hope to advise someone accurately? We can only do what we can, no? ;-)


  18. Susan

    There is a fine line between caring and interfering -- each of us has an inherent natural force guiding us, and we are meant to live life and experience it the ups and downs,,,

    you are always thought provoking my philosophy friend...

    thank you for your comments on my blog -- they are an interesting perspective I have not considered..

    warm hugs,

  19. Ur free advice is always welcome. :)

    I like ur smooth sailing writings. :)

  20. I think it's like that old quote from Sunscreen, "Smart people learn from other people's mistakes, but it builds character to learn from your own." :D

  21. Oh dear doll, you make me feel really old now.. i dispense free advice generously.. ;P


  22. I enjoyed this post very much.
    I am afraid that I usually keep myself to myself, and let them find out for themselves. It's all part of growing up and learning about "Life Experiences". Some can deal with them better than others but sometimes it makes for a better person.
    Big hugs!

  23. I can't refrain from giving advice in a few specific matters.

    For example, to a mother I'll advise to pass on her native language to her child as any language one knows is an asset.

    To a pupil/student that I care for, I'll advise to choose a profession which deals with the nicer aspects of life (tourism, for instance) as life itself can be very hard.

    To someone in love , you can advise nothing as Love is blind, deaf, and mute.

  24. I think that people generally don't want advice. Even if your advice is great...if the person isn't ready to receive the life lesson they won't get it.
    Better yet don't offer any advice unless the person insists.

    But whenever I give advice to kids I always tell children...this is what I would do. Aah, Susan, free advice is such a tricky word.

    Great topic and post!
    Big hugs to you my dear friend!
    B xx

  25. Savira:

    I also waited just after I posted and here it is :)


    I guess we do make subtle changes here and there. Transgenders: That is my research topic and it is driving me crazy as I am winding up now :) The writing is AHHHHHHH.

  26. Sameera:

    Regret, maybe but the love of hearing ourselves is more. I guess there is a wee bit of self there.


    Your advice on advice is the best. Thanks for your ever kind words, Myrna. They are always welcome.

  27. Hope:

    Awareness is the key and I am glad that we notice all these things. Joy always :)


    Dulce, it is a pleasure to read your comments as every word is honest. And you are right in saying that we cannot take away the right of the young to enjoy and experiment with life. After all why is life for.

  28. Brian:

    Now that is what I call clever: "but not always follow." I am also like that (winks).


    I know you love doling out advice. Hmmmm, but the young will not heed!

  29. Zuzana:

    I always used to listen to advice and do what I wanted to. Your words are always make me think and ponder, dear Zuzana.


    Natural for us, irritating to the listener. And life is indeed a great teacher! Been long since I saw you here. Busy, busy?

  30. Vinay:

    All the mistakes are recycled on and on. The mistakes will definitely be repeated, you know. And no amount of advice will stop people from doing what they want.


    Long long time, yes. Nice to see you here. I always dole out free advice.

  31. BM:

    True. The generation gap makes it all the more difficult. the mentality is also quite different.

    Don Carlo:

    Glad to have you here, Carlo. Pleasure. Even I give it away, more than once to the same person!!!

  32. Nevine:

    You are a wise woman, indeed. There are so many things I should unlearn and learn from you. Circumstances definitely colour our perceptions but still, I feel, there are points of connections.

    Big hugs back to you dearest Nevine.


    Thanks for your kind words dear Joanny. Ups and downs are nice in memory but when one is going through the downs, the feeling is slightly unnerving.

  33. CS:



    Oh yeah, the Sunscreen song is full of advice. I like to listen to it over and over.


    Been long and so it is such a joy to have you. We got introduced last year around this time and I am so glad that we met. Tell me who doesn't dispense free advice. Welcome to the gang . . .

  34. Murali Krishnan:

    Welcome to the Meanderings. Glad to have you here with us to reflect. True. I endorse 100% what you have said here. I wish I could go back to those old times.


    :) Smiles

  35. Betty:

    I know the word 'free advice' is so loaded.

    Big big hugs back to you and joy always.


    Your lovely words are always welcome. I love the way you have said "myself to myself." I wish I was like that sometimes atleast.

  36. I saw you mentioned on betty's site and wanted to stop by and say hello. A great post, I also find myself giving advice (asked for or not), I've enjoyed my visit. Best wishes, PW.

  37. I am full of advice, and mostly when I offer it, it is unsolicited. I give it anyways. I'd rather that than have someone ask me years from now, why I kept all my knowledge to myself. ;)

  38. Dear Petty:

    Welcome and what a joy to have you at the Meanderings.We all love giving out advice, don't we. Perhaps that is the human streak of helping others without a prompt. How I love this spirit! Hope you find Meanderings worth the stay.

    Joy always.

  39. Dear Angie:

    I love the point you made at the end. It definitely gives a new perspective to the whole post. Now I wonder that it is not so bad afterall to dole out free advice. Angie, thanks for making me feel better about this. You are a joy, as always and I do appreciate your visits here, as always.



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