The Good Book: Proverbs, chapter 3: Advice

1 – Advice is what the wise do not need and fools do not take.
True, but it might be better to state it in a way that didn’t make it so piercingly clear which of these two groups Grayling places himself into.
2 – Who will not be advised cannot be helped.
As above.
3 – Advice most needed is least heeded.
And a third time. I’m pretty sure the biblical book of Proverbs is actually less repetitious.
4 – If the advice be good, it matters not who gave it.
This is something that I not only agree with, but which I have been arguing passionately in favour of for many years. If it’s not a real proverb, it oughta be.
5 – None can act upon advice but those who need it.
True, and damn frustrating.
6 – Advice after mischief is like medicine after death.
I know what he’s trying to say, but the analogy doesn’t hold so well, death being rather more permanent than mischeif.
7 – Be adviser to all, security for none.
Really? Condescend to all, never put your money where your mouth is? Was this book written for Goldman Sachs executives or something?
8 – Less advice, more hands.
Advice that decries the role of advice. Probably not the best plan to put it on the first of dozens of pages of pithy advisory one liners.
9 – In advising a friend, seek to help, not please.
10 – It is bad advice that cannot be altered.
So any advice that’s written down is bad… ummm… no, wait, that can’t be it.
11 – When well, we easily advise the sick.
And is that a good thing or a bad thing? Or is it just a platitude?
12 – The advice of fools is worth nothing.
But what about #4, above? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, right?
13 – Do not hazard your wealth on a pauper’s advice.
Again, what about #4, and also, seriously, that pauper knows more about doing more with less than your smug middle class arse ever will, Grayling.
14 – Whispered advice is not worth a pea.
I get what he means: that one should stand proudly by the advice that one gives, but his phrasing is too broad to hold his meaning. Picture two escaped POWs, one whispering to the other to be quiet so their pursuers don’t find them…

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