Friday, December 3, 2010

I’ve always admired trail blazers and pioneers, especially women. While they’re busy exploring new territory, I wonder if they ever consider the groundwork they’re laying for those to follow. When I was a kid, the first column most women turned to in the morning paper was either Ann Landers or Dear Abby. I doubt seriously either of those woman had any idea they were literally setting the stage for Dr. Phil.

Why are we so intrigued with advice columns and shows? I think we like to hear the weird and sad situations of others to be reminded our lives are pretty good. Some of the questions leave me wondering.

Years ago a woman wrote in to Dear Abby asking how to solve the ongoing argument she and her husband dealt with: “Why can’t my husband turn his socks right side out before he puts them in the dirty clothes hamper? This makes me crazy.” My mom thought it was such a dumb question she actually wrote to Dear Abby saying: “Honesty, won’t the socks get just as clean inside out or right side out?”

Now it seems people are dealing with much more complicated issues than dirty socks, or maybe it’s just now they’re willing to talk about them on national television.

I really try to not offer my opinion on solving a problem unless asked. It leaks out sometimes anyway. I once had a friend who asked how she should handle situation after situation in her life. Then she would do exactly the opposite, frustrating me like crazy. I finally realized she was basically a troubled soul and really wanted the attention, not advice.

I read something recently that said, “The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people straight.” That will lower your blood pressure. I’ve learned this; unless someone truly wants to make change, no one is going to convince them otherwise, so why wear yourself out.

We complicate our lives searching out advice trying to figure out how to live. Simple old advice is the best. “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8

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