Advice of Any Kind is a Suggestion

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Can we talk about advice?
It seems nowadays advice means to receive criticism, generally in a negative fashion. If we research further, avis was the first bastardization of advisum which mean from one’s point of view. If we chop up the English word using the Latin prefix and suffix chart we’d find it means, towards failure. Which again nowadays seems to be very true.

What does this have to do with anything?

Lately I feel, many people have forgotten that advice is an opinion, given to lead people away from failure. That it is not an order given in the subject’s best interest to follow and if they don’t, let’s make their life hell or talk shit about them.

What’s up people? Why can’t we live and let live?

I want my son to go on solids at 6 months. Doctors recommend starting at 6 months but, you may start a child on solids at 4 months. Sometimes a child shows interest in food earlier and has developed the swallowing reflex they can start this early.

Being I am a first time mom, I am erring on the side of caution. We are doing 6 months.

However, since explaining our choice to others, people have given us their opinion on the matter. Cool, go ahead. If I don’t seem like I’m going to just go and change my mind, the person becomes heated and angry.

“Why don’t you just follow my advice?”

Because my dear, I don’t have to.

Advice is just that, an opinion. If everyone just agreed with everyone else, besides being a strange plot for a Sci- Fye movie, things would be boring (among other things).

In my opinion is okay to have am opinion, to share your two cents. It’s perfectly normal to want to help.

I think though, through the internet things have changed. After all, we can give out advice much faster now. No more letters through a week or more long post. We can give our advice freely and quickly. We don’t actually always know the person giving the advice we ask for. We can ask the general public for their opinion now too. Having such access to “unbiased” (hopefully) opinions can be very useful.

At the same time, people can hide behind this and become very cruel. Saying things in a way that if in public, a person would just turn and walk away from.

Worse yet, if a person tells everyone that they choose another path as their answer, people can continually taunt and cause them grief over their choice.

It’s no longer your opinion your advice it becomes your way or I’ll bash the hell out of you. Some people take this to an extreme.

Why?

Why do you care if I follow your advice? Why is it so important that if I don’t it causes you misery?

Let’s go back to my example. Some people feel 4 months is a better time to start solids based on personal experience. I hold firm to 6 months as my starting date for solids. The 4 monthers demand to know why. I cite medical professionals stating that a child still receives the bulk of his nutrients from breast milk or formula until he is a year old. I mean come on, we’re practicing eating here. I practice eating a little too much, truth be told!

So after I explain my reasoning, I am told I am wrong and it becomes this person’s mission to change me.

Why?

When did we become so obsessive of another person’s life and choices that we feel we have the right to dictate how they live it?

We don’t.

It is NOT a personal attack on you if anyone decides to not follow your advice.

The person asking for advice is not a coward for taking another path.

It is NOT helpful to bash the person for asking advice or again, for them not following yours.

You have absolutely no right to tell someone how to live.

Finally, you are not some supreme being that can give out punishment for other’s decisions. If someone decides to not follow your advice, it is not time to mount a crusade and stalk or harass the person who doesn’t follow your advice.

Please remember this the next time you give out some advice. It’s an opinion, freely given, in order to help another person understand that they have other options.

So thank you for letting me know 4 months is a great time to start solids but, we won’t be taking your advice. (Sincerely, not sarcastically at all)

I still respect you though. So will others, I suspect.

(Note: no one us actually upset with us starting solids at 6 months. After listening to my reasoning they have all been respectful. I do not mean to sound rude about it, just matter of fact.)

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