Defining Good Advice

Defining Good Advice

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Defining "Good Advice"


Perhaps “good advice” is best defined as advice that fits into our lives, and produces desirable results. Luke reacted to this statement with the following, “I don’t know that I agree with this [the previous sentence]...good advice can be received and disregarded just as easily as it can be used, and then we may never know the results.” If and when I disregard advice, I must not find it to be that good.

How well any advice fits into our lives and if we like the results is a harder thing to accomplish than one may think. If Kate had told me to “put my chin up and smile,” sure, Kate would be trying to help, but I was looking for something more specific that fit directly into my situation.

Good advice can come from absolutely anyone. In narratives from our class, advice came from friends, relatives, colleges, experts, and enemies. However, all the advice we consider good advice was given to the advisee as an option, not a command. “Good advice should not be pushed on a person,” said Jeff Stotko. Not many people were willing to accept advice from someone who was telling them what to do. Instead, good advice was the stuff we are told and then we have to decide what to do with it. Good advice has a tendency to take us away from our own point of view and explore more options to the situation. Had Jackie’s contractor flat out told her without explanation that she couldn’t put in the window, she probably wouldn’t have listened to him. Her daughter’s room would now be in the living room, literally. When he told her about the problem and gave her the time to figure out what she wanted to do on her own, the advice became good advice. It does this because it makes Jackie decide for herself. We want to live our own lives, right? We don’t want others to live them for us; we just want their input sometimes.

When the class looked at the three sections on contractions, it was pointed out that section A seemed to condemn contractions. We were all very wary to accept the paragraph which just stated without explanation that contractions are bad. The same goes for advice. I wouldn’t listen to someone who just says what I am doing is WRONG.

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I will listen to someone who explains why they think it is wrong.

Good advice, as it has been said by Nate Hilson and Lee Lamon, must be between at least two people. I don’t know if this is always true. I have given myself some awesome advice. If I take myself out of the situation and look at it as if I was helping a friend it seems to work really well. Just like any other advice, I don’t always take my own advice, but it is possible to advise yourself. Good advice cuts through the bull shit, as M.C. Morgan pointed out. When I called Kate she knew I wasn’t great, even if I told her I was. Sometimes, however, I am the only one who can cut through my own crap.

Good advice, has to start somewhere. Either someone asks, or someone starts telling. Advice has to be communicated. Unless you are advising yourself, it is usually a verbal or written exchange. Good advice, is advice that opens up options for the advisee, not by telling them what to do, but instead by sparking a thought process for the advisee to figure it out on their own.

Wow, definitely a connection to good writing.

Good writing doesn’t tell a reader, “this is bad” and “this is good.” Instead it states certain things and leaves out others. In our descriptions the reader had to decide between attractive and unattractive. Words were carefully chosen to “advise” the reader in either direction, but they were not told what to think. Advisors also pick their words carefully to get a certain point across. For instance, Luke's sponsor could have said, “You are not racing for the right reason. I won’t sponsor you to just win.” Instead he told Luke about people who just go out there to win and that it is always a good idea to question your own motives. Had his sponsor approached Luke in the first way, his response would have been very different. Descriptions can be attractive and unattractive and still be accurate. Advice can be positive and negative, and still be valid. Good advice or bad advice, it is all just advice.
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