Sunday, November 20, 2005

Speaking for Myself

I used to think I was decent at giving advice. If people shared their problems with me, I'd generally be able to provide a nugget or two of sage advice for them, whether they took me up on it or not. I consider myself a pretty decent student of human behavior, if by "student of human behavior" one means "cynical guy who expects the worst of any human interaction."

The thing is, most my advice has generally been guided by a hard-wired set of ethical and moral principles, a sense of "right" and "wrong" which, while acknowledging infinite shades of grey, engages in a calculated balance of the two to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

Of course, any advice I dish out -- as with any advice that anyone dishes out -- must necessarily be shaped by my own experiences, interactions, mindset, worldview, and understandings. We've all lived unique lives and have unique personalities, each of which contribute to how we choose a course of action in any particular circumstance.

In recent weeks, I've come to question my ability to give out advice. This is because I have come to question my ability to properly balance those interests between "right" and "wrong." I've come to realize with painful clarity that it's WAY easier to tell people what they should do based on some high-minded moral principle than to actually do them in the same factual circumstances.

I've recently been placed in found myself in put my own damn self in a position which would be a piece of cake to advise about if it happened to anyone else. Clear ethical lines would be drawn, and my response would be simple: "Don't do it." But because the person involved is me, it's just not that easy.

And it burns me up.

I'm tempted to provide details, but the better part of me screams that it would not be a good idea.


MoDigli said...

Oooohhhh... This sounds VERY juicy, Dennis!
I hope you share someday, but if you don't, then I hope you do whatever it is that you can live with when you make your choices! ;)

anne said...

Yes, it sounds like the important thing then would be to wonder whether you can live with "doing" it. If you can, then... you can!

Vince said...

As loyal readers, we simply demand the details!


Neil Morse said...

"Wear half as much makeup, and twice as much underwear. Take that as a standing recommendation."

All I the best advice I got, I got from Sophia Petrillo, lord love 'er.

Sub Girl said...

ooh ethical dilemmas. tricky. best of luck!