Advice and consent

I give a lot of advice. I give it as an attorney, I give it as a friend. I give it as a sister, I give it as a mother. I tell people what I think when they ask, and sometimes even when they don't. But the one thing I don't understand is when someone actually asks for my opinion, when someone asks me to tell them what I think, that they then move along as if they never heard. It's as if they forget that advice is just words unless the listener not only listens, but also takes action.

Now I am guilty of this as well: asking people to help me understand a problem or an issue. I ask to see what they would do, I ask to gain perspective. But all of the advice in the world doesn't mean anything unless you internalize what others are telling you, unless you consent to hear the opinions offered, unless you decide to move forward after receiving information. 

Because talking is just talking unless and until we decide to move with it. I can give you my opinion, I can tell you what I think you should do, but if you stay stagnant and unmoving from where you currently are, then not only are you stuck but I may grow frustrated as well. We have to remember that advice given is usually not given off the cuff; there is thought behind it, there is consideration taken into it. Asking advice to begin with is usually a sign to ourselves that we are not comfortable where we are. So if you find yourself in a position to seek out what others think, realize that you yourself feel that you need to change something in a situation. 

Those who love us and care about us provide their opinions from the goodness of their heart. Those we seek out for their expertise have knowledge they are willing to share. The least we can do both for ourselves and for them to is appreciate what is given to us and provide our own consent to act in some way following what we have received. 

After all, this is the life. 


  1. This has been one of the things that I've had to come to terms with in my own family. I now realize that you can't want something for them, more than they want it for themselves.

  2. Linda, I couldn't have said it better. That's exactly what I was thinking when I wrote the blog.


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