Advice is a lot like chocolate on holidays: some are sweet, some are bitter, but either way people always insist upon giving some to you.
That’s why I don’t really like advice much—it’s so preachy. But sometimes a golden nugget falls in my lap and proves its worth.
Norcal rapper Too Short’s warning, ‘Can’t turn a ho into a housewife, fool!’ is not one of them (but I heed his warning no less).
In high school a friend warned me to avoid enemies at all costs. And while that seems basic, it’s critical. Although you may want to let the asshole in your life know that they are indeed an asshole, it takes far less energy to feign friendship than to maintain a healthy adversarial relationship. Hostility is very demanding, if done right.
I received another piece of invaluable advice my freshman year at UC Irvine. The toilet seat covers (provided ‘your protection’) have a front and back, I was told.
Gentlemen, I’m proud to share that the long piece goes in front to protect you and the family jewels. Ladies, I don’t know what this means for you. You’re on your own.
Not all the advice out there is as satisfying, though.
A lot of famous people feel inclined to share their thoughts with us. And even though they’re as stupid as the rest of us, a lot of people make the mistake of passing these thoughts along as ‘advice.’
Here are some of my favorites to ignore:
‘There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex. They should draw the line at goats,’ said Elton John.
I’m all about sexual freedom but I’m not sure what sorts of acts and animals come before goats so when it comes to advice from Elton John about when or where the line should be drawn, I just say ‘No.’
Bruce Springsteen said that ‘Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed.’ Katie Holmes is still alive so that ruins that one.
Advice in even its simplest form can still be stupid.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle wrote, ‘The future will be better tomorrow.’ Thank you, Captain Obvious. Assuming that it will be better at all, I suppose the future could be better at a later time, but is a little more insight too much to ask from U.S. leadership?
I have a feeling the answer is yes.
Mark Twain advised, ‘Always do right—this will gratify some and astonish the rest.’ It’ll also keep you from being morally debased, but I guess that’s just a bonus.
So while taking some advice to heart has been beneficial, especially for my hygiene, I’m convinced that ignoring some has been rewarding too.
After all, Bill Cosby said, ‘A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones who need the advice.’