All advice is not good

When accepting advice from non-professionals, please at least consider the source. We know that most of our friends mean well, if they are our true friends, but some of the advice they give us is biased. Regardless of the situation our friends usually want to see us win.

When discussing relationships problems with a friend is when they are most culpable. It is difficult to be impartial and give sound advice when you’re only willing to weigh one side of the equation. In order to give the best advice one needs to impartially look at both sides. Where the shoe fits… that is where the gavel should fall; however, out of loyalty to our friends we may unintentionally curve our advice to please them.

From one guy giving advice to his buddy, many times it has nothing to do with what is right, good, or decent. He could even be dead wrong. A macho pal usually stands by his buddy regardless. Perhaps they think it’s possible to find another mate, but not another great friend. So guess who gets the ax? This may even include wives as well as girl friends. Guys tend to stick together just as the gals.

Are we really doing our friends a true service when we take their side knowing they are wrong? The real answer is “no”, because they don’t get a chance to correct a fault in them. Many friends will watch their buddies go through several failed relationships for the same reason and never tell them the truth.

If you knew your pal was a constant womanizer and cheated on his wife frequently, what position should you take? If this buddy had been married and divorced several times and continued with the same habit, are you being a good friend by taking their side?

I once knew an associate/friend that had a thing for under-aged girls. He was a schoolteacher. At the time I said nothing, even though I disagreed with what he was doing. I knew he was both morally and legally wrong.

You hear of such teachers on the news occasionally going to jail and serving serious time for their crime. In essence my loyalty to a friend made me culpable to his crime. (Aiding and abetting!)

At the time I was young. Even knowing it was wrong I didn’t quite know how to handle the situation so I just ignored it. After a while he left town so the problem was “out of sight and out of mind” for me. Whenever I hear of a teacher getting busted for this crime I think of this friend.

This is a character issue. Condoning illegal or immoral behavior is a reflection upon us. What if one of those under-aged girls had been my daughter or granddaughter? Does it make it less immoral or illegal when they are strangers? Absolutely not!

Our character defines us. It specifies who you are at the core. At the time I was willing to turn a blind eye to things that were seriously wrong. Who amongst us doesn’t know people who have done wrong things? How do we respond in the face of culpability?

Back in the 60s many of my generation were fairly heavy into experimenting with all sorts of illegal drugs. We were drinking and driving, or high on something more lethal than alcohol. Weren’t we all a bit culpable to a degree at some point in our lives?

When we have friends or relatives that egregiously violate our moral boundaries yet fail to mention it to the proper authorities, does our silence help them? These are tough calls. The Unabomber’s brother was the one that turned him in to the authorities.

When young, perhaps there were many things that you ignored even knowing they were wrong. Even to this day we may do that for friends and family thinking we are on their side. Ask yourself, is it right to condone wrongful behavior?

The truth of the matter is there are morals and laws in a civilized society. We know the difference between right and wrong. When we allow wrong things to happen and do nothing to report it, this is a direct reflection upon our character.

The least you should consider doing when you know people are committing illegal and immoral behaviors is to tell them they’re wrong. If they choose to cut you off as a friend you would have only lost an immoral or illegal person. That is really your gain.

However, if this person is a family member you might want to give them another chance to correct the situation before reporting them to the proper authorities or family elders.

Some choices in life are tougher than others. This is a really tough call. Being a true friend should include doing what is morally and ethically right for them regardless of the possible outcome of the friendship. All advice is not good advice…FYI!

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