Advice, whether good or unwanted, seems to be measured out much like ingredients in a recipe – either in pinches or tablespoons, pennyweights or pounds. Sometimes freely given, often with a price, this form of guidance can restate the obvious, impart the wisdom of the ages or make us wonder where it originated and much like cooking, depends on the messenger’s knowledge to have decent results.
Things that once seemed problematic like “Drink 8 glasses of water a day” (What? Who has time? Where am I going to get 8 glasses in this office? Really?) in retrospect and according to many an esthetician, make good healthy sense. Others, like “Buy it! Everyone’s wearing neon this year!” should be avoided like the plague affecting the fashion victim uttering it. Are the hundreds of recommendations we seem to be overwhelmed with actually helpful or even useful? Are they what we need to hear or are they what the bearer knows we want to hear? We could fill a book with all the well-intended bon mots heard over a lifetime and put Napoleon’s words along with a suitably witty illustration on the frontispiece:
Du sublime au ridicule il n’y a qu’un pas (There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous).
This fortnight the Big 5 Challenge hears the voice of the past in these few simple phrases handed down over the last two centuries that apply to more than just domestic issues:
Learn how things are done properly, for if you marry a rich man you will need to know whether your servants are doing their jobs as required and if you marry a poor man, you will be doing them yourself…
“Who did you listen to?” – Parents or peers, punk or piano, the beat of your heart or steps in the street, politicians, revolutionaries, strangers that you’d meet… We would love to know who influenced your youth.
For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.