Monday, December 16, 2013

I Should Have Listened

In a recent discussion with a friend I confessed that I’d been pretty stupid and immature at times as a young man. I know some of you who are long-term friends and/or acquaintances find that surprising.

I look back now on some of my actions and inactions and, to be honest, I’m embarrassed and regretful.

(I always believe that people who say, “I have no regrets” just didn’t push the envelope far enough or they have no conciences)

Shoot, I’m regretful for things I did and said last week but that’s another story. My contention is that if you are going to actually LIVE (an active verb) you’re going to do some things that you eventually look back on and ask, “Can I get a do-over?”

Anyway, my point to my friend was that there were times in my past when people more mature than I tried to point out that I might not be taking a path that would turn out best for me; they tried to give me good advice. And I rarely listened, but at least I heard an alternative.

Her belief is that you have to let people live their lives and find their own ways.

The older I get the more I believe that depending on your relationship with the person you go ahead and offer the suggestion/advice and give them the opportunity to take it or not. 

Maybe I’m actually getting to the point in life at which I understand that others have gone before me and might have wisdom to share.

The path you are suggesting might be something that never occurred to them. Or, they weren’t aware that what they were doing was leading them to a less-than-positive outcome.

Granted, you have to pick your stances and pick your battles. And yes, others might not see your suggestion as wisdom; they might see it as meddling.

 I guess I’d rather be in the position of them saying/feeling, “Mind your own business,” rather than “I had no idea. Why didn’t you tell me?”

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