Today I am thinking that we can at least partially blame the invention of the printing press for the death of conversation. We are surrounded by signs telling us both what to do and how to do it -- signs that give us 'information' that is really unsolicited advice. I know signs are meant to be helpful, to ensure our safety, etc. etc. -- but so many signs? Do we really need all this advice?
Oral exchange of sentiments, oservations, opinions or ideas.
Recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct.
I saw a sign that said, "Could you please try and not let the door bang as you enter and exit the building." A simple conversation between people might have led to a solution for an obviously disruptive door banging situation.... but no. Easier to just post a sign -- to give advice. The tone in "try and not let the door bang" sounds like there might be some unfinished business along the path to a solution....
Lately, I have been experiencing a distinct change in the temperament of society. All and sundry seem to believe they have the right to impose advice. And, it is no longer a requirement to be polite. There seems to be a 'no holds barred' attitude empowered by political correctness pervading most communication.
Sadly, I find that more often than not, a conversation consists of an offer of and then a defense against unsolicited advice.
I find it wearing and wearying to be barraged with advice more or less constantly. Increasingly, I find myself in a quandary, both longing for and, at the same time, dreading social situations. This is a great shame. I'm sure I am not alone.
Recently, I was in a group of people and mentioned a minor ailment - an aside really - and despite begging and pleading with a group member, "Please, don't give me advice... please no...," the person simply had to do so. My choice in such a situation was to sit in uncomfortable silence until the advisor was finished and thank her or to interject periodically in my defense. Neither option is 'conversation.'
And even more recently, I was in a group where each individual felt they had to give a detailed account of how they overcame a great obstacle (an obstacle I currently face) -- four people, 10 or so minutes each -- it was exhausting. The plethora of advice on how I could 'overcome' was dizzying
Opportunities for real conversation these days don't exactly abound so I'm a lot out of practice.
So, horror of horrors, last night, while entertaining, I found myself offering unsolicited advice instead of participating in an "oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions or ideas."
Unfortunately, advice givers -- including me -- are woefully unaware their evangelical effortsdisguised as conversation contribute in an insidious way to an increasing alienation between individuals and groups in society.
So I will have to do better. And it's simple.
One of the wisest people I ever met sagely counseled:
"Never give advice... especially when someone asks for advice!"
That way, you can enjoy a real conversation.
The best colour for today is Rose Madder Genuine.ubmitted by connie on Fri, 10/14/2011 - 15:50