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Advice vs Personal Experience

            Going through life with a blindfold isn’t my idea of a party, but going through it with training wheels on all the time isn’t very fun either. What I’ll talk about here today is the internal conflict I have between wishing I didn’t have great role models to guide me along my path, and how grateful I should be, but don’t always feel, when people impart their advice.

            First you might ask: how can honest-to-goodness sound and positive and simply good advice be bad? In reality, if it’s the good stuff, it’s not. In fact, having sound advice, usually from someone with more experience than you, should always be taken to heart, and then applied to your life appropriately. But what if you’ve got a hundred people telling you good advice? It’s a bit suffocating.

            Let’s use an example to clarify:

            Someone who is older and wiser than me tells me I shouldn’t touch that burning candle with my hand, it’ll burn you, and I say “ok, I trust your judgment.” Logic tells me fire will burn me if I touch it, so I agree with this statement. I’m left with only looking at the fire, never touching, never interacting, and, the key of this example, never finding out for myself if it will really burn me.

            I think it’s a part of a human’s natural evolution to be able to communicate the dangers of the world unto the younger generation, thereby ensuring their survival. Example: an older friend imparts his wisdom on how to help avoid an STD: wear a condom. It’s simple, clean, good advice, that will help me avoid a very bleak future. It’s advice I’m grateful for, and advice I will treasure. But when he tells me that no one gave him similar advice, I suddenly realize that no one told him never to touch that flame, and when his time had come, he took it with both hands! He was the man with the blindfold walking down a dark path without even a glimmer of light to guide him, and still he overcame.

            And when I grow old and wise, I’ll be able to repeat the same knowledge imparted upon me to my kids: don’t touch the fire, it’ll burn you. But I ask myself sometimes, when will I touch the fire? When will I run into something that will teach me a life lesson, which in turn forms into sound advice I can impart on the next generation along with the advice imparted to me? How will I ever learn to touch that fire if everyone else tells me not to in the first place?

            I’m young (23), and I’ve yet to burn myself, and I mean really burn myself yet in life. Maybe that’s a good thing, in fact, people would pay to have the easy ride I’ve had so far, but for me it’s like sitting on the bench for the entire game, coach never calling me out to the field called life to get some real experience in. Oh I’ll listen to the advice imparted upon me, you know it, but someday, ohhhh someday, I’ll have that chance to feel the burn.

Leave a comment


  1. Wow, what sage words spew forth from the podium of one so young. You are wise beyond your years. If I may be so bold as to burden you with one more piece of advice. Listen the what others tell you and filter what they say against your own instincts and experiences. NOT EVERYTHING YOU HEAR is true or accurate.

    Taking your example of the flame, use your own wisdom, pass a hand through the flame. Listen, test it, taste it, feel the heat, but don’t throw gas on it. You’ll get plenty of burns, ie experience on your own.


  2. And now everyone knows why we call our young boy Quirky.

    Nuff said 🙂


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