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I consider good advice to be a balanced combination of many things. To me, the most important is that when I receive advice, it must not be forced onto me. When advice is truly sincere, it is given to me in the hopes that I might take it, but it should never make me feel guilty if I don't. A perfect example of a forced piece of advice, is article A that we read about contractions. To me, this article didn't advise the reader about what not to do, but it told them. It pretty much said that you "can" do this and you "can't" do that. Good advice should just throw another opinion up in the air, and let the advisee choose what to do with it.
The whole idea behind giving advice, is that it allows the advisor to state their opinion about something concerning the advisee, and hope that it is of some use to them. Advice involves two people, the advisor (giver of advice), and the advisee (taker of advice). Both people play an equal role in the giving and taking of advice. Someone can give me all of the advice that they want to, but if I choose not to take the advice, then the cycle is incomplete. However, it doesn't mean that the advice is worthless, because it may be of use at a later date. My job is to determine what I want to do with the advice given to me. If I believe it is good, then I will put it to use, probably in the near future. If I don't agree with it, then I may disregard it totally.
Another thing that constitutes good advice is that it should be honest. If I give someone advice that I wouldn't take, were I put in the same situation, then it most likely isn't good. If I know that the advice clearly isn't going to work, but it "sounds good," then that isn't good advice at all. Don't give it if you wouldn't take it.
Good advice must also come from a reliable source. When I ask someone for advice I should trust that he/she won't lead me in the wrong direction. The information (advice) that they give me should, in no way, be of any benefit to themselves over the me and my situation. A perfect example of this is the advice that Earl gave to Jackie.
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These are just a few of the many things that constitute good advice. However, even if all of these qualities are present, good advice may not work. Good advice will not be effective, unless it is by the choice of the advisee. First of all, if I don't think that the advice is good, then I will, more than likely, choose to disregard it, making the advice ineffective. Referring back to our class narratives, Douglas' fits this idea. His dad gave him advice about what he should do for his twenty-first birthday. At the time, Douglas thought that it was good, but didn't take it anyway. Advice is only what you make of it. All the adviser can do is give it to you, it is your job to decide what to do with it.
Advice works best when it is carefully considered, along with its consequences. How does it work? Well, I give advice to someone with the hopes that it may be used- maybe not now, but sometime in the future. They take the advice and ponder it from almost every possible angle. After considering all of its possibilities, they decide that it is either good advice or bad advice, and the either save the idea for a later time possibly, or puts it to use immediately, or trash the idea altogether.
I agree with the idea that if the advice works then the language works. But does this mean that if the advice doesn't work, or is not taken, that the language then, has failed and isn't reliable. I don't think that the language, itself, is the biggest part of the advice process, but more the way it is interpreted. Example: two different people could give one person the same advice. However, the person being advised totally agrees with one and totally disagrees with the idea behind the other person. This is most likely due the different way in which the whole idea was presented to the person. Therefore, I believe that giving good advice relies heavily on the correct wording. Maybe the same thing doesn't work for everyone, but knowing what works for who could be the secret behind good advice.