Friday, June 12, 2009

out of office

You know how sometimes you send someone an email and you get their out of office reply message? What do you usually do when that happens? I mean, this person probably has a back-up who has a back-up who backs him up who backs her up. Right? I think sometimes it can kinda go that way for the big guy upstairs. I know some of us rely on faith while others just go with the flow, but all of us at some point in time say, “Please God….” If you don’t say God, maybe you say Buddha, Ancient dude, Dali Lama, or Bill Gates….

Whatever your flavor, we’ve all asked for help at certain times. In times of need or times of support, I think that we help calm our emotions and minds by saying a little something internally. For me, those words have come at simple times and at dire-straights times. Walking up to the plate to face the pitcher in college or walking up to the judge to beg for mercy. Walking into an interview or walking out on a relationship. Walking away from a parent or walking towards your next love. Walking away from an accident or walking into the room as your wife is giving birth. Walking out of a cell or walking into freedom.

We’ve all said a little something. So you say something and wonder if anyone hears you. Is there someone out there listening to your requests. Or are you getting an arbitrary out of office from above? I guess these days you just go to the back-up. The person or um, being next in line to grant your wishes. It’s good to get these thoughts out to a friend, family member or confidant. I love hearing about people’s lives. I love hearing about their hopes and dreams and the excitement it brings them. It always instills in me that belief that it’s good to strive for things you want in life.

Giving advice can be a double-edged sword though and I have come far enough to know that giving advice is like throwing a paper airplane off a roof. You never know which direction it will take, but you know at some point it will land. Does that make sense or did I just talk some shit? What I mean is that sometimes, people close to us want advice. You give advice to two types of people. People that listen and absorb. And people who do nothing but listen and give you 1,000 reasons why you’re wrong and don’t know any better. A few close friends. The principal, the police officer, the city of Philadelphia, might say I was the person who doesn’t listen. But really, I think we do a little bit of both a different points of life. I mean, did anyone want to hear, “underage drinking is bad. You’re breaking the law son!” when you were enjoying your senior year or senior summer out of high school and getting wasted every night? NO! That’s what I mean.

I recently gave a person close to me advice and all they did was give me reasons why I was wrong. So I just gave up. I didn’t give up on the person, but I gave up on giving them advice and now have to sit idly by as they walk through the field of dynamite and roses called “the early twenties”. What the person doesn’t understand is that the advice-giver is affected by the actions the advice-receiver takes. Otherwise, why would the giver feel the need to provide guidance? It took me almost a decade or so to understand this logic, but I see it more and more as I am the giver. I’ve made the mistakes not to teach lessons, but by my own carelessness and unintelligent decisions. I guess we’ve all been there at one time or another. Probably just at different levels of severity.

I guess all I’m saying is that advice is only as good as the audience receiving it is willing to listen and learn. Otherwise, it’s a lot of white noise.

My advice to you this weekend is to have fun. I don’t care what that entails because your life is not my life, but be safe while doing so because people around you care about you.

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. -Anne Frank