Few weeks back we all decided to go on a family trip for the weekend. We hired a driver as it was going to be a long drive and none of us was willing to drive for that long. The driver came early morning around 6 AM so that we could make an early start. We all packed, and put our luggage out. My mother was the last person to come out and as soon as she was out she saw that the driver was smoking. My mother cares for everyone and considers it her duty to correct lives of everyone around her. So, being a good person, she told the driver, “Son, you are too young. Listen to my advice and stop smoking as it can kill you”. The driver probably got scared fearing that he might not get his pay and threw the cigarette away.
Seeing this I realized that there are many such occasions in all of our lives when we meet people who will give timeless advices which they have applied in their lives and are according to them the only way to live life. No matter how grown or successful you become, you will keep encountering such people in the form of your parents, friends, relatives, office colleagues and even strangers.
Parents – Whether to Listen to them or not?
One of the most common categories of people who would give you advice is your parents. My mother always wants things to happen her way and God forbid if you try to do anything different. I agree all she wants is to protect her kids and not let them make the mistakes she did. But in reality she wouldn’t give suggestions but absolute decisions and if you don’t follow, she would not talk to you for weeks, behave as if she is the victim in the house and will keep a sad face. This will go on till you go to her and admit that she was right and that you will do as she says.
I agree she has lived her life for so long and learned her lessons as life moved on. But that was a complete different era, one cannot expect everyone to behave the same way and follow the same old principles in the changing times. There are no timeless lessons, life teaches you your own lessons. Everyone wants to make their own mistakes and learn from them, not to be spoon fed.
I always try to ensure that I do not give any advice unless I’m asked. If someone thinks that my opinion is going to help them, they would come and ask and if they don’t follow it then also I will not be offended. Now this has earned me the honour and respect and my opinions are valued as well. I prefer not to interfere and let people learn their own lessons. Most important, I always try to stay diplomatic, never tell people they are wrong, appreciate what they think and add-on to it.
Learn your own lessons!
Now that I have grown up, I like to do things on my own. I prefer to take my own decisions and let people around me also do the same. In fact when I look back in the childhood and see the advices my parents gave, some of them were so absurd that I ponder, “What the hell were they thinking?” Those lessons and advices sure would not work now.
That’s just one part, I have met many friends and relatives also who would want to impose their life lessons on me. But I have now realized one important lesson of my own, there are no timeless lessons, life moves on, situations changes, generation changes and everyone should learn their own lessons. Listen to people brag about how great they are and how they have come up in life coz of those principles, but make your own decisions and learn in life as you go ahead.