Yesterday my father, two cousins, and I sat down for a man talk. We discussed it all with very little spared. It is infrequent to find a conversation with an older man dull, particularly a concerned/interested one! It is a peculiarity about the brain that if a person is both concerned and open-minded, they offer interesting insights with little judgment bestowed. At least, that was the case for us.
So although my father was probably right in his utterances, it was still important for me to observe my own reasoning. I found that that was only possible when I listened with total presence and used the same energy for my own rationing.
What I found interesting were the dynamics that were at play. There we were, four men seated together, discussing serious issues with very different viewpoints, but finding common ground. I also found that open-mindedness is the truest liberator of minds and a quality that must be exercised with caution.
I learned that the conclusion is always very similar whenever I discuss these issues with my male counterparts or elders. That could be partly due to the energy that I also bring with me or that all we bring forth are conjectures, and therefore, in the end, every man would have to retreat to their own oath.
What am I saying?
Although I enjoy consuming the opinions or information gatherings of my peers and elders, I always feel as though I come to the same conclusions about life, I had before the meeting.
I have become the embodiment of ‘living your own life, your way’ for so long that my chamber of truth is almost always the only chamber I follow. I suppose independence is partly to credit for this, but so is a positive male father figure.
Male conversations will probably wind more towards helping each other solve current personal issues rather than counsel about what to do with our lives. In other words, open-minded men do not tell other men what to do with their lives. On the same breath, open-minded men do not rely solely on other men’s advice.
But advice is still an important commodity, despite men increasingly seeking it within themselves. So how will it work, and what must we surmise with the data?
Below are a few ways to use advice from the elderly.
- Tweak the conversation to summon advice tailored for specific contexts in your life, not a blueprint for your life. For instance, while speaking on women, resist conversations where generalisations are made. Instead, ask questions about how to reach a consensus with your partner/spouse when in a complicated argument.
- Focus on you and how the advice can work for your use cases.
- Challenge them politely if they also bring the same energy. It does not help just listening, have your own opinions. After all, all we have are opinions, which we hope to uncover some truth in.
- The conversation is not a battle of who’s right. In the end, relations should not be damaged by this.
A man must have some autonomy, even though they may not have independence at that point. But some autonomy is essential.
So your father is probably right; maybe they may also be brilliant. But so is your intuition, your counsel.
Intuition is an association of many learnings that you have scooped until now, which is precious.
If I had to weigh the two, then I would likely pass it as 80/20. Be reliant on your inner wisdom eighty per cent of the time, with the remainder amalgamating other influences.
Please do not take me verbatim on this; all I am endorsing is an overwhelming reluctance on self. That is the most rewarding way to live that we have until now. But first, it goes without saying, get your freedom by being independent, and that alone will mould you into a force that can be listened to, a force that can rely on itself, and a force that can’t be easily bullied.
Thanks for reading.
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