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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

It Depends

I get a lot of advice from different people of all walks of life. And most of it is well intentioned advice meant to help and serve and improve. I think everyone has some sort of value that they can bring to the table in this game called life. No one is completely helpless or useless. Everyone has his or her own passions that they can work on and develop into a more holistic individual.

There was the advice that I got when I was a little kid. Like stay in school. Eat your vegetables. Do your homework.

Then there was the advice that I got to lead a healthier and more balanced life. Like stay present. Go with the flow. Serve others. Take care of yourself.

Simple stuff like that. It’s all fine and dandy, and I think all this advice has left a positive impact on my life. And I am grateful for that. I also think that some points you need to take advice with a grain of salt, because not all of it works in all contexts.

For example, there is the common advice to speak up for your own beliefs. Which is fine. We live in the USA after all and freedom of speech is an inherent right. But do you need to speak up in all cases? I would argue that in some cases it would be best to just stay quiet and keep your thoughts to yourself.

The obvious example would be watching a movie at a theater or watching a performance. Obviously in those cases, it does not serve to simply speak up because you will be disturbing the experience for other people.

I guess it really just all depends on the circumstance. No one experience is perfect. And it’s up to each of us to decide upon what is right and what is wrong. Life is not black and white. It is all different shades of grey. And we should take responsibility for our own abilities to navigate thru the journey.

My mom and my dad have left a major impact on my life, and I listen to what they have to say with tremendous respect and deference. Yet, I do not necessarily have to be obligated to listen to every single advice that they give me.

I will take what they say and apply it to my own perceptions and experiences of this world to see if it fits or not. And go from there. It all depends. On the situation. On your own beliefs. On your own ideals. On your own perceptions of this beautiful world that we live in.

People change. Ideals change. Advice will change through the years. I don’t think it serves us to listen blindly to what is right or what is wrong. At a young age, we are often indoctrinated in school as to proper social conduct. What to do in certain situations. But again, this is all in the eye of the beholder.

It’s all really subjective. Life is subjective. It is up to your minds and hearts to perceive however we please. But, at the end of the day, we have the power to choose our perception and our actions. And that in itself is a great power to behold.

One advice that really got to me was the advice of “speaking up”. I was always a quieter kid growing up in junior high and high school and would never really participate too much in humanities class.

When I was told to speak up, sometimes I would go overboard, and speak too much in social situations. And this would lead to feelings of awkwardness. There would be times when I was speaking, when it probably would’ve been better served to keep my mouth shut and listen.

I guess I took that advice a little too literally. And that is a clear example of when you have to simply test and evaluate the advice out there based on your experience. These days, I have been speaking up more frequently in discussion groups. And my confidence in these situations have significantly improved which I am grateful.

But at the end of the day, I also try to be an active listener to my fellow colleagues and citizens. Because everyone has something that they can offer. Everyone has a role to play in this game called life. Everyone is valuable in their own right.

How you act or what you do really just depends on the situation. It’s up to you to figure it all out. Even advice from the top-notch gurus or philosophy schools should be tested and trialed based on your own experience. No outlet is 100% foolproof.

So, keep experimenting in this lab called life. Come to your own determinations. There is only one you in this world. And you have the power to choose how to live and how to thrive. There are many forks in the road and many paths to take along the way to lead you onto out your true nature.

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