As children we took direction from our parents. As adolescents we sought our own direction. As children we made small mistakes and our parents dusted us off. As adolescents we made big mistakes and suffered the consequences. Now that you’re an adult, you long for childhood, when life was simple, not painful. Most of the time, when you ask for advice you are not actually asking for direction. You already know the direction. What you’re asking for is someone to dust you off should you fall down. When they don’t dust you off you take the next natural step and place blame, just like you would blame your parents. And so it goes, adults looking for help in their lives, generally not finding it, and placing the blame on all sorts of things – the police, big business, the president, your best friend.
Think of it this way. If you could make all the decisions in your life without fear of failure, would you ask for any advice?
This isn’t to say that we don’t care what other people think. Obviously other’s opinions are important. They inform our own viewpoint. But if you’re asking for direction, you’re really asking for someone to protect you from failure. The unwritten rule is that you try to learn from another’s mistakes rather than make your own. But maybe the more sensible thing to do is say “hey, I’m about to try this, it might fail miserably, if it does, will you bail me out?”
Imagine if our culture allowed such honesty.