“Instructions! Directions! Advice! Counsel! At times, I wonder whether it would have been possible for us to have done anything on our own, if it weren’t for the words of caution and wisdom that were directed at us, in the form of advice by our elders ! ‘Nasihat’…Advice before the commencement of our actions – and, compliments or criticism that came our way – at the conclusion of an endeavour. A thumbs-up sign would indicate their appreciation of our successful attempt, or an open discussion would ensue about how we could have gone about a particular thing properly and done it correctly, if our performance had not been satisfactory. And we learnt a lot from their advice ! We would constantly look at them for further guidance; made it a habit to follow their instructions and had obeyed every command given to us by our loved ones during our early childhood ; but, might have, foolishly, disobeyed a few instructions during our rebellious adolescence. We learnt from our mistakes quick and fast, and as we stepped into adulthood, we valued real advice, especially that which was timely and profound, and looked forward to receiving it from those whose advice had always counted and mattered! ”
“However, it is interesting to see that there are many, beyond the realm of family and friends, who consider that giving advice to anyone – any place and any time – is their birth-right and they are willing to advise us on everything possible under the Sun ; impervious to the fact, whether we had asked for it or not! Advice – take it from me – is their attitude ! Such people seem to have seen all shades of life and speak with such authority and conviction about leading our lives – ‘ If I were you , I would do that !’ ‘ No, no, no ! That approach wouldn’t be right ! You should go about it this way ! ‘ – that we feel like ticking them off for what now begins to look like interference. Since we are taught to be polite, we find it very difficult to tell them that we can do without their advice and it would be best if they could mind their own business and leave us to do things the way we wanted to.”
“One is filled with curiosity and left to wonder as to what is it that gives the other person that confidence, that air of certainty with which – ‘woh nasihat deta hai!’ It appears that he is talking about a terrain that has been traversed by him many times, and that too with such ease, that he has now taken upon himself the onus of making the lives of others simpler by sharing the skills that are needed to overcome day to day life situations.
When such a person shares his unwanted insight with us, on how he would have attended to a particular issue and gone about setting things right – we are convinced that this certainly must be a classic case of ‘practice what you preach‘ and this person would surely listen with patience to whoever tries to give him some advice, similar to the manner in which others had been listening to his advice in the past, as they feel it is warranted,now, for him to listen to them. But things are not as simple as they appear to be!”
” Astonishingly, when such a person comes in the line of fire – and perforce, has to listen to some advice that is given to him for a change by someone else, he or she changes colours and refuses to pay any heed to the smallest of suggestions and challenges the premise of any and all legitimate advice that is given to him. ‘Doosron ko ‘nasihat’ dena bahut aasaan hota hai …par ‘nasihat’ sun na aur uss par khud amal karna bahut mushkil hota hai !”