Charlie's Blog: Unsolicited Advice


Unsolicited Advice

Unsolicited advice is the junk mail of life.

A friend of mine told me once that wisdom was the purest form of pain. The pain comes from watching other people do stupid things. It puts you in a trap. Part of you wants to speak up and spare the fool the inevitable consequences of his folly. The other part of you knows he will never listen. And the final point of pain is the guilt you feel when you don't say anything at all. You need to spare yourself those feelings of guilt. The old wisdom is still the best. Never give unsolicited advice.

I have only known one time in my life when my advice was solicited. A co-worker of mine came into a windfall of money when his aunt died leaving him a sizable inheritance. I am not a financial advisor, but he asked me what I thought he should do with the money. I had watched him and his wife for some years struggle financially because he was a heart transplant recipient. His entire income went to paying for the meds that kept his body from rejecting the donated organ while they lived on his wife's paycheck. They could only afford one modest car which they shared. I know that he expected me to give him some kind of stock tip or mutual fund advice. Instead, I told him he should pay off the mortgage for his home.

That fellow actually followed my advice. He paid off his home, and it changed his life. He told me that a great burden of stress had been taken off of him and his wife. Without those monthly mortgage payments, this fellow and his wife were able to buy a second car. He had a better life. But it got back to me that he was unhappy with my advice. He never said it to me directly, but he thought he could have done better in the stock market or something. I changed his life with common sense, and he hated me for it. I never expect gratitude, but I certainly don't expect ingratitude. But I do feel good about one thing. He asked for my advice, and I gave it to him. He benefited from it even if he didn't appreciate it. And, as far as I know, he didn't mortgage his home again to gamble it away on the stock market.

That story has taught me that even giving solicited advice is a thankless task. I wish I had told him nothing and let him continue to suffer. If that sounds heartless and cruel, I need to remind you that this man is a fool. That's not my responsibility nor my fault. I was a fool for giving him my thoughts on what he should do. But I learned my own lesson to be grateful to God for His blessings. This includes the painful blessings.

If giving solicited advice is full of grief, giving unsolicited advice is even worse. I hate watching people suffer needlessly. Recently, the editor/journalist at my local newspaper wrote a column about his health issues. The most prominent issue was his struggle with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. I had similar issues before I stopped eating crap and started eating a plant based diet. Those issues cleared up for me immediately when I made that switch. The newspaper fellow went on prescription meds. This allows him to keep eating crap. He is mystified as to why he suffers from IBS, but I am not taking the bait. He knows the reason. The title of his article was that he needed to make some changes. Then, he went on to write how he actually wasn't going to change. He wanted sympathy and reinforcement in his stupidity. I just know not to waste my time sending him an email on the matter.

I genuinely want the good of other people. I want everyone to repent, convert to Roman Catholicism, die in a state of grace, and behold the Beatific Vision one day. I don't want anyone to go to Hell including my enemies. But this is not up to me. Similarly, I have learned some things that have made my life on the temporal level easier to bear. Most of it I learned from following the advice of others which is all over the internet. But most people would rather watch cat videos on YouTube.

My desire and wish for the good of others carries the label of GENERAL BENEVOLENCE. I want people to do well. I nurse no grudges, envy, or ill will. But with that general benevolence, I add another label. This label is BENIGN INDIFFERENCE. Basically, my good wishes end at your freedom and autonomy. I care about others but not to the point of overriding their free will and desire to be left alone.

People have tried to give me advice which I did not take. This is because I considered it bad advice. Sometimes, I have changed my mind later. But what I have noticed about people who give bad advice and even good advice is their pushiness. It feels like bullying and aggression. The poster boy for this aggression is your typical vegan and other leftwing types who not only give unsolicited advice but attempt to force it through laws and tyranny. They don't want you to have an informed choice. They want to take away your choice completely.

The middle ground in all of this would be the salesman or Jehovah's Witness who comes knocking on your door. They are not forcing you to buy what they're selling, but they are aggravating when you are not interested. These people want to reach the ones interested, but they end up encountering and bothering a lot of uninterested people. The way around this would be advertising. Advertising allows you to reach people while allowing them the option to ignore you and change the channel.

My advertising to the world is this blog. As I have said before, this blog allows me to say what I want to say while allowing you the freedom to ignore it. It relieves me of guilt while not being pushy. People have the freedom to read what I write to inform their own choices or disregard it. Plus, I recommend reading as much as you can from others. There are plenty of blogs with good advice.

Aside from this blog, I keep my mouth shut. I can sit back and watch people do incredibly stupid things and suffer the consequences and not say a word. I use to suffer watching these fools, but I don't suffer anymore. I just pop some corn, sit back, and enjoy the show. Fools are good entertainment and good education. They show you what not to do.

It is foolish to give unsolicited advice. If they don't ask for the advice, do not give it to them. Sometimes, they do ask for advice, but these fools just want reinforcement on the choices they have already made. You should test them first to see if they are sincere. If they are sincere, give the advice. They are free to take it or leave it. If you follow these simple rules, you will have genuinely helped the few you can help. Everyone else is free to suffer the consequences.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

UPDATE: Every human being is born with the need to drink water. Deprived of water, people die. That is as basic as it gets. It's nice to have a beverage like a hot tea or coffee. But the best thing to drink for hydration is water.

Many people drink soda pop all day instead of water. It blows my mind, and it should blow your mind. I told a friend about how drinking water is a good thing. He said he didn't like the taste of water. I am not making this up. I have another friend who said the same thing and prefers drinking iced tea all day long. It makes my kidneys hurt to think about it.

The reason I share this here is that the advice to drink water is as basic as it gets. Only oxygen is more vital to life. Yet, if you can't convince people to drink water, you're wasting your time on anything more upper level than this. This is just another example for not giving unsolicited advice and not feeling guilty about it.