“Advice is a form of nostalgia” Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.” Or at least according to Mary Schmich.
I am inclined to agree. Advice is generally based on personal experience, what I perceive to be good advice another may perceive to be bad advice. Advice is usually considered good if it reaffirms our own opinions, what we disagree with we often consider to be bad advice. Despite asking for advice, we too often tend to only really listen to what we want to hear.
Which brings me onto my advice and the reason for this blog post, advice that I genuinely believe makes me more appreciative, more balanced and more considerate of others.
Make friends with people of all ages.
Our first friendships are usually with people of a similar age. Be it at school, activity clubs or the children of our parents’ friends. By the time we leave education we are usually friends with people who we relate to and often have the same interests. Our opinions and values will differ, but these have still been formed from experiencing events and changes at the same time in our life.
There is a danger with continuing only with this group of people who you have met on your journey to adulthood. I say danger, I am being a little dramatic. It is hard to put into words, but I may be able to better explain it using an example.
Ever since I have been able to drink in a pub (and a bit before), one evening a week I have gone up the pub with my dad. My dad is somebody that would prefer to stand at the bar rather than sit at a table, so this is what we do. Standing at a bar tends to lend to social interaction with other people standing at the bar, regardless of who they are. Wind forward just shy of 20 years later and we are now a group of once strangers who stand at the bar together every Thursday evening. I am 34, this group of people includes people in their 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s (me) and 20s.
The conversations we have are varied, no doubt repeated many more times than we realise. Opinions and views differ, sometimes significantly. I have learn that age does not always bring wisdom, but it brings experience and the stories that go with it. I have learnt that a person in their 60s will often view the same issue from a very different perspective than a person in their 20s. It makes conversation more interesting, you find out more about what has been, how different generations think of what will be. It also gives you the opportunity to understand people in a way that you aren’t able to do just by talking to people of your own age group.
I realise I haven’t done a very good job of putting my advice down in words. So I guess the only way to find out is to go and do it!