“The best way to give advice to other people is to find out what they want and then advise them how to attain it.” 

The author suggests that for giving advice to a person, it’s best to first know what he wants and then advise him to attain that objective. Though the author’s stand may prove to be correct in certain circumstances, I feel that this is not a good approach in most of the cases. 

The major problem with the author’s suggestion is that it completely ignores the role of experience in setting objectives. Very often, a person sets unrealistic goals for himself, only to fail at later stage.  Also it’s possible that he may start chasing something that’s not really worth the effort. A person having experience in a similar field can advise on keeping realistic goals, which are good for him.

Another point that the author misses completely is that often people are not very clear about their objectives. They need to be advised even for knowing what they actually want. For example: a typical high-school student doesn’t often know what streams of career are open to him and which of these is suited best for him. In such cases, career counselors come in picture and they first advise the student on what choice he must make; advice on how to attain that goal comes later.

Also at times, the choice a person is making may not morally be the right thing to do. Imagine a scenario in which a youngster wishes to drop out of college mid-way and start an illegitimate business like smuggling or drug-trafficking. In such a case, will it be sane for his father to advice him on how to achieve what he wants? The father should better reprimand him and advice him to concentrate on his studies.

No doubt, the author’s suggestion may work in some cases. These are the cases where the person seeking advice has a clear understanding of his goals: goals which are good for him and for the society as well. In such cases, we must surely concentrate on advising him how to attain those goals.

To conclude, I’d say that I strongly disagree with author’s suggestion on giving advice. It may be workable in some cases, but in most other, this will prove detrimental to the person seeking advice.

One Response to “AWA Issue #7”

  1. MiMiC says:

    Remarkably fine! You persuaded me to change my opinion from defending to criticizing the author.

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