Sunday, September 18, 2011

Too much advice

Another story I heard on NPR this morning was about the new movie 50/50, which is a comedy about how people react to cancer. It is based on the experiences and interactions of the movie's creators, Will Reiser and Seth Rogen, when Reiser was diagnosed with cancer six years ago. Reiser said in the NPR interview, "You have people just giving you tons and tons of advice about books you should read and foods you should eat. People would recommend getting oxygen injections and ... going down to the Amazon, drinking a tea from a shaman. You know, like, just all kinds of advice."

I have never had cancer, but I have experienced the onslaught of advice. When I tell people about any problem I face, they often respond by throwing advice at me. It feels as if they can't accept me in my present state, and so they want to fix me, to shape me into someone more acceptable.

That is why I have become more solitary over the past six years. Because so few people have been able to just be present with me as I am. They all just hasten to try to shape me into someone with more perfect circumstances. Such people drain my energy, so I choose not to interact with them.

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