Random thoughts.

People often tell us to have objective views to not always think of ourselves first, to walk a mile in another’s shoes before drawing conclusions about them. But if we are honest it’s a lot more difficult to be objective when we are at the receiving end of an action. For example how objective can a rape victim be towards an attacker? How objective can we be towards a boss who just laid us off even when we know it was the only line of action open to them.

The above examples could be said to be extreme or clearly unpleasant situations, cases where objective and subjective views are obvious. On the other-hand how do we differentiate objective advice from subjective ones? This is something that I have pondered on for quite a while. How do we know that the advise we just got on how to handle XYZ situation is not totally tainted by the advisers point of view, personality and priorities, thus making it a subjective piece of advice? For example when someone advises a student to read four hours a day at noon as noon time is the peak period for brain activity is this objective or subjective? In my opinion regardless of the bases for the claim; scientific research or just personal observation, it is considered a subjective as it

a) Doesn’t consider the recipients strengths and weaknesses or ability to achieve the target.

b) Assumes that everyone should fit into a particular order

c) Can be disputed with alternative results e.g. students who read less and listen more or students who understand better at night.

Now I know people give excuses for not taking good advice (I do it too) and I think the best way to make an advise more appealing and open to reasoning is to support it with life’s principles. Going back to the study advise example: rather than saying try to study four hours at noon each day, how about make an effort to get at least four hours of study each day, if you don’t put in any effort you won’t get any results.

Rather than saying: I personally wouldn’t spank my child.

Say: Don’t react to your child in anger, reactions driven by anger rarely produces good results.

Before you give that advise (solicited or unsolicited especially unsolicited) be sure to ask yourself what principle supports your line of thought. Principles are rarely subjective and together with advice based on experience pack a powerful punch. They can hardly be ignored forever. Be sure to treat your listener with respect as well.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “Random thoughts.

  1. Yes, it is easy to come up with a snap judgement opinion…a bit tougher to actually look at the try whole situation and come up with a more constructive reply. Try putting yourself in the other person’s situation and see what kind of response you would give.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Again, this one hit home hard. I’ve been wondering recently whether it is our place to react when someone spanks/hits their child or uses the “cry it out” method, for example. This article, and especially its title, has been playing on my mind: Screaming to sleep, Part One: The moral imperative to end ‘cry it out’ http://www.phillyvoice.com/screaming-sleep/
    Is there a moral imperative in cutting out the cry-it-out method? Do we need to preach about it? It is obvious that we can share our views if someone explicitly ASKS for our opinion (as we did in the group the other week when the question of cry-it-out came up), but what if they don’t ask? After all, they might not have come across the research and might not know what we know (about the stress levels in a child left to cry on their own, etc). Same with breastfeeding — should we be preaching the values of natural breast milk to everyone, risking alienating or upsetting people? Is the “truth” (as in scientific evidence) more important than their feelings? I like to think that I always stay true to my convictions and defend them, but in reality it’s not always the case. Sometimes I’m just too polite, too careful not to hurt someone’s feelings. And I don’t know if that’s right or not. It certainly bothers me if I don’t defend my views out of politeness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean Ola, it’s difficult to draw the line with regards to correcting someone. These days I try to ask myself if the situation is worth fighting about, if it is then I try to find the best way to relay my thoughts. I try to remember that as I have a right to share my opinion the other party has the right to blatantly ignore me and vice versa. So long as we live there will never be a one glove-fit-all-solution. All we can do is keep putting the information out there as friendly as possible. When among like minds eg the group we can share freely when unsure we thread carefully.

      Like

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