What’s your problem?

by Henrylito D. Tacio 

EVERY now and then, I received e-mails from people: some are trivial, others are very interesting. There are few which are very intriguing and even catch my immediate attention. Read this:

I’m a 28 year-old engineer who works in a government office. I’m very attracted to one of our officemates, who’s not only very handsome but neat as well. He’s 30, and his name is “Paul.” Paul also seems to be interested in me. He hasn’t asked me out or explicitly said that he’s interested, but a girl knows. Sometimes I talk with him during lunchtime and he certainly doesn’t seem to mind. Anyway, I’m not sure if I should ask him out for a date or see a movie together, or wait until he will tell me. Please help.”

Yes, she’s seeking advice from me. “Never give advice unless asked,” reminds a German proverb. Carolyn Wells reminded: “Advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive.” P.G. Wodehouse countered: “I always advise people never to give advice.”

But on second thought, Brendan Francis declared: “People who ask our advice almost never take it. Yet we should never refuse to give it, upon request, for it often helps us to see our own way more clearly.” Agatha Christie pointed out: “Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.

Yes, I’m completely lost. Will someone give me an advice, please! The words of Francis Bacon came haunting: “He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.”

Adlai Stevenson added: “We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don’t follow when it damages those who take us at our word.”

Looking for advice? Why not ask your favorite celebrities? Here are some from our file: “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” – Harry S Truman. “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.” – Katharine Hepburn. “Often you just have to rely on your intuition.” – Bill Gates. “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.: – Lucille Ball.

The Holy Bible has given us Ten Commandments. American president Thomas Jefferson, on the other, has written A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life. These are:

1. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.

3. Never spend your money before you have it.

4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.

5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.

6. We never repent of having eaten too little.

7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.

8. How much pains have cost us the evils which never have happened.

9. Take things always by their smooth handle.

10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

Of course, you probably know who Rick Warren is. Yes, he is the man behind the best-selling, The Purpose Driven Life. Recently, a close friend sent me “the greatest advice,” which Warren himself has penned. Read it below:

Don’t date because you are desperate. Don’t marry because you are miserable. Don’t have kids because you think your genes are superior. Don’t philander because you think you are irresistible.

Don’t associate with people you can’t trust. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t pretend. Don’t dictate because you are smarter. Don’t demand because you are stronger.

Don’t sleep around because you think you are old enough and know better. Don’t hurt your kids because loving them is harder. Don’t sell yourself, your family, or your ideals. Don’t stagnate!

Don’t regress. Don’t live in the past. Time can’t bring anything or anyone back. Don’t put your life on hold for possibly Mr. Right. Don’t throw your life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.

Learn a new skill. Find a new friend. Start a new career. Sometimes, there is no race to be won, only a price to be paid for some of life’s more hasty decisions.

To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless. To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy. To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy. Don’t bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.

To make yourself happy, pursue your passions and be the best of what you can be. Simplify your life. Take away the clutter. Get rid of destructive elements: abusive friends, nasty habits, and dangerous liaisons. Don’t abandon your responsibilities but don’t overdose on duty.

Don’t live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family. Be true to yourself. Don’t commit when you are not ready. Don’t keep others waiting needlessly.

Go on that trip. Don’t postpone it. Say those words. Don’t let the moment pass. Do what you have to, even at society’s scorn. Write poetry. Love Deeply. Walk barefoot. Dance with wild abandon. Cry at the movies.

Take care of yourself. Don’t wait for someone to take care of you. You light up your life. You drive yourself to your destination. No one completes you – except YOU.

It isn’t true that life does not get easier with age. It only gets more challenging. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose your capacity to love. Pursue your passions. Live your dreams. Don’t lose faith in God. Don’t grow old. Just grow YOU!

When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give to someone is your time.

Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E because the essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.

Mr. Warren ended his greatest advice with these lines: “God is good all the time!” — ###

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