Have you ever followed a “genuine” advice someone gave you and later realised you have been led astray by them? Ok. Have you ever heard people, in an attempt to communicate the fact that they’ve been wrongly advised, make statements like, “I shouldn’t have listened to them”? Great!

Sometimes, we blame people or even hate them for giving us wrong counsels, isn’t it? Well, mostly, it isn’t that people intentionally wish to destroy us by giving us wrong counsels as we sometimes make it seem. People mostly advise us through the eyes of their personal experiences. Can I tell you a story, a story of two divorced men? Hold on….I dey go drink some sobolo come.

Right! I’m back. To the story now……

Both men are very affluent and prominent. They loved, honoured and lavished their riches on their wives. There’s nothing that money can buy that these women lacked. No one believed it when these seeming beautiful marriages came to an end on the basis of infidelity on the part of the wives. “How could they have cheated in such luxury,” even their fellow women gossiped.

Well, can money always fill that emotional vacuum only a husband (man) can give a woman? These two rich men thought their money could suffice the time and attention their wives desired of them, so, they fed them with money and the luxuries it could afford, but starved them of themselves. Alas! Their hunger for that emotional satisfaction from their husbands eventually drifted them into the arms of other men.

Here are the two possible aftermath of the divorce: these men, still hurting, could start telling every young man who cares to listen, never to trust any woman, give their hearts to them or lavish their money on them; or these two men, having recovered with lessons learned, will counsel young men to trust, love and lavish their wealth on their partners but never to do it at the expense of spending quality time with them and giving them the needed emotional support. Sadly, in the two scenarios, both the advisors and the advisees would assume each advice to be a wise counsel.

What I’ve come to realise is that what most of us call wisdom is simply the raw hurts and disappointments from our pasts. We are so full of regrets that, we, unfortunately, boldly mistake them for wisdom. We unconsciously package these regrets as wise counsels or advice and begin to give to unassuming people, who follow them through wholeheartedly.

Most of us are victims of this. We have religiously swallowed and followed some of these “wise counsels” that have later landed us in ditches. We have lost great opportunities and good relationships because of a “wise counsel” or advice someone else “who has suffered similar fate as us” had given us. Now, we are at a worse place because of their “wise counsels” and we are bitter.

Sadly, we have made others victims of our own bitter experiences as well through the advice we give them. We have packaged our hurts and regrets as advice, which, we have led many astray with. I’ve always believed that unless we have healed from the past and learn from the regrets and bitter experiences, we are not qualified to give advice to others, lest we counsel them through the eyes of our bitterness rather than through the purity of our healing.

The remedy would be to filter through the counsels you receive from others before you put them to work. This, in itself, will be a difficult conundrum to decify, but, with the help of the Holy Spirit it becomes a relatively easier task. Most importantly, don’t be too quick to tell others what they ought to do just because you’ve had similar experience as theirs. Wisdom is slow and before it speaks, it learns.

Analyse and accept your own faults and what you could have done better. It is this lessons — the things you could have done better that you ought to sell to people as advice.

Unless this self-introspection exercise is done, and sometimes, the lessons put into practice ourselves to produce the desired positive result, we don’t qualify to give advice to others, lest we will destroy them with our past regrets, bitterness and hurts, packaged as wise counsels. It’s about the lessons and not merely the similarity in experience.

Question: the advice you’re taking from people, is it truly a wise counsel or it’s simply a combination of regrets and hurts from their past. The advice you give others, is it truly the positive lessons you’ve learned from your past mistakes or it’s a parcel of your negative biases, founded on your past hurts, regrets, bitterness, betrayals, disappointments and bitterness. Remember, wisdom is slow and before it speaks, it learns.

There’s a Hero in you; unleash it!

By Elorm Hermann

I'm on a mission to disrupt mindsets and explore answers to questions others are afraid to even ask.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *