Advice based on principles is the chocolate candy missing underneath much of the candy coated knowledge and information on the Internet these days.
Principles aren’t really that compelling though, and talking about them leaves no room for entertainment, spectacle, or fame.
Positions are much more compelling, because they can shift with mores, styles, and trends. Talking about positions is entertaining, but not really relevant.
I keep pressing this point in various ways: Wisdom cannot be distilled into just one blog post, one podcast interview, one live streaming video feed, one impermanent interaction at a time. Wisdom comes from developing relationships, but it seems that our human tendency on the Internet to favor our dessert over our vegetables has begun to creep into our real-time, real-world interactions.
Advice based in principles, relationships, lived experiences, as well as theories and ideas, leads to innovation, progress, and development. But it can all seem like gossamer when your relationships with other people don’t work out like they seem to via your social media platform of choice.
There are ways to accumulate this advice: solitude, mindfulness, focus, respect, deep thinking, writing, and listening without arguing in your head with the person speaking are the tools (in the Frederick Winslow Taylor mode, they are the 22lb shovel) you can use to acquire wisdom.
Style over substance used to be a negative, but that era is long since passed. And in our rush to get to the next innovative hill, we forget the time tested tools, insights, and advice that come from hard-won wisdom.
And we risk being increasingly unfulfilled by a candy-coated shell.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com