As men of the world, we often feel the need to give advice to those we think may need it. This is perfectly fine and in fact, it is something that is encouraged within the League of Savage Gentlemen. But occasionally, our nuggets of wisdom seem to fall on deaf ears.
Sometimes, the person just isn’t in a place to accept information. Other times, it may be the source itself that is the obstacle. We must understand that there are different voices for different ears. Meaning, that certain people’s words just don’t resonate with others.
It is important to recognize that the messenger matters. Whether we want to admit it or not, how we and others receive advice is greatly dependent on who is giving counsel.
We must consider: What is my relationship with that person? Are they a peer, someone who respects us, or a complete stranger? If they are a stranger, are they perhaps an authority on the subject?
These are all factors people take into account, at least on a subconscious level, before heeding advice. Knowing this, it is important for those who wish to mentor, to make every effort in ensuring we are good messengers.
Which is to say, being the kind of man that gives a good reason for people to listen us. And not simply because our logic is sound or our information is valid. Rather, that we are a living example of someone whose words carry weight; that the way we live our life is in some way admirable or aspirational.
Last week I wrote about “The Wolves at the Gate” regarding masculinity. There were several responses claiming that masculinity is in fact in danger, and we must go on the offensive to preserve it. Unfortunately, these people seemed to miss the point.
The intention of the blog was less about the direction of where masculinity may be headed, and more of a call to action to take personal accountability. Because it is all too easy to focus on how others are negatively affecting society. But simply acknowledging their faults does nothing to make a change.
We have to DO something, and that starts with ourselves.
We must realize that we cannot directly improve the world around us if we can’t first improve ourselves. This should be our main objective. To lead by example of the message we are trying to convey...To make the adoption of that ideology so appealing that others cannot help but follow.
If we consistently have good advice and no one is taking it, perhaps we should reevaluate ourselves, not the recipients. We should ask ourselves:
On what authority do I stand regarding this subject?
What have I accomplished that would inspire others and substantiate what I am saying?
If we cannot answer these questions, then should probably worry less about giving advice, and worry more about improving ourselves.
To becoming better messengers...