“Don’t give advice,” this is a motto I have always had, not that I didn’t teach my own kids as they were growing up, but I mean to other adults. I haven’t tried to be selfish with my advice, but there are reasons I have tried to keep my opinions to myself.
First of all, who I am to give advice to other people? I am a flawed human being just like everyone else. If I open my mouth and start giving advice, someone else may know a better way to go They may argue with me, and I would have to have solid arguments behind why I said what I said. I am not into arguments at all.
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When I am asked to teach a Bible class, I am not one of those people who gets up there and gives and opinion and then tries to back up what I think with scriptures. When I teach a Bible class, I simply want God to speak to the people, not for me to speak to the people. I open the Bible and read it with them. The only place I have when I teach a Bible class is first, to be a moderator, to decide who reads when, and second, I teach it like I do a Literature class (I am an English professor).
When an English professor teaches a piece of Literature, it is their job to make sure their class understands what they read. If I can do anything, I can understand what I read. I taught myself to read before I went to school, and I have been an avid reader. I love books! If anyone can understand what is written on a page, I can. I teach context. I teach organization. I teach grammar. I teach symbols. I ask them questions to get them to think and form their own ideas, etc. When I am finished teaching a piece of Literature, people understand it for themselves, and I do the same when I teach Bible. I don’t inject my opinions, but get people to think for themselves.
(I graduated from high school in 1973, and then went on to become an international English professor, missionary, and mother of four children.)
However, friends of mine have asked me to give others advice on my blog. I have thought long and deep about their request because I take requests for my blog. All the blogs about my cooking you see on my blog are because people suggested I blog about my cooking, and people seem to like it. When I drove to the DMZ and blogged about what is at the North and South Korean border, it was because I took a request, and people seemed to like that too. Lot’s of people have said site seeing in Korea is the way to go with a blog, and I have done that. I plan on continuing cooking and site seeing. Now, people are telling me to give advice. I don’t normally give other people advice.
However, lots of people have given me advice. I have pieces of advice ringing through my head from my grandmother, my great grandmother, my mother, my father, my mother in law, my teachers, from preachers, etc. They gave great advice, and I am the type of person to listen to advice. I have always understood there are people in this world who are older and wiser than I am. I wasn’t a rebellious teenager because I knew my place. I knew other people had lived longer than I had and been through much more than I have been through.
(This is not me. I am old, but not quite this old, and since I live in Korea, I keep my hair black because it is expected of everyone, men and women both, in the country.)
I have thought a lot about my friends’ request of giving advice, and my normal policy of not giving advice. I still agree that giving advice is not the safest way to go, but they are right. I am 63 years old. I am finally the mother, the grandmother, the mother in law, and the professor. I am the older one now. At times, when I go places, I look around and realize I am the oldest one in the room. I should do what I can to help the younger ones. Besides all the great advice that has been given to me through the years, I have learned a few things that have helped my life, and sometimes, I learned them the hard way. I am not done with life, and I am not perfect, but I don’t mind sharing some of what I have learned with people. However, one thing I have learned, I want to tell the younger people, if you don’t want to get in an argument or make people mad at you, until you have been through it all yourself, don’t give advice.
I have had the courage to put myself out there in a blog, and if people want me to give advice in my blog, I will, but they must remember that I am human just like they are are. I sat down last night and made a big long list of things that people have told me or that I have learned in life. My son in law saw me and sat down next to me trying to think of good advice that people had given him or that he had learned, so I added what he knew also because he is an extremely nice guy with lots of friends, so people can trust what he says about how to live your life. He happens to have a very wise father, and a lot of what he said came from his father. They are Koreans, so when you get advice from me, you won’t just be getting an American’s opinion. In fact, I have lived in 8 different countries, and the things I have learned, I have learned from living around the world. This is just the first blog I am making about giving advice. I would normally say, “Don’t give advice,” but they talked me into it. I am going to use the long list of topics that we made last night.