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It’s been some time since I posted, primarily because I’ve not found anything of note on which to comment. Actually I should clarify that; there’s been no topic or event that has “spoken” to me, making me want to opine. Then again, I’ve always felt that quality is better than quantity any day, and I hope the content in each of my posts makes up for their lack of frequency. And yet, as I sit here writing this one, I have no real topic. I’d like to be as politically conscious as Phillip, or as creative as Naoko, but it’s just not in me at the moment. I’d like to have something to which my loyal readers (all three of them) can reply and lend a point of view that sparks deep thought or leads to an epiphany. The last thing I want to do is resort to a (gasp!) poll, like the question with four choices type. I want something that requires something more than “drive-by” responses, click-and-go, etc. So I’ve decided to post this question to you: what is the best piece of advice you’ve heard? By that I mean something so powerful and enriching that it guides you daily.

For me it’s this: never belittle anyone’s goal, no matter how silly or ridiculous it may seem to you. Think about it…let’s say, for example, a good friend of yours wants nothing more in life (at the moment) than to open a flower shop/nursery. The idea may seem totally bonkers to you, but they love botany, and would love to make their living at it. So, in a moment of extreme insensitivity, you say to them, “Why would you want to do something goofball like that?” Let’s breakdown the question to find the underlying message: they think to themselves, this person thinks I’m a goofball for wanting to sell plants and flowers. All of a sudden, a huge bit of wind has been knocked from their sails, and your ranking on the friendship scale takes a nosedive. Everyone loses a little something. Wouldn’t friendship be better served by just saying, “Good luck with that”? After all, everyone wants the same thing in life: personal success.

I actually made the above mistake with a good friend before hearing that piece of advice. It took a very long time to heal the wound created by a statement I made with little forethought. We’re still good friends now, but it would have been much easier to strengthen a solid friendship than to try to repair a damaged one.

OK, your turn. Enlighten us with your own words of wisdom.

January 2007
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