My friend Michelle brought up something on her blog recently that runs alongside what I’ve lately been thinking.
I’m sure you’ve noticed, and it’s hardly worth mentioning, but there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there. About everything, from health (are eggs bad for you?) to finances (what’s the best place to put your money?) to the effect running your car’s air conditioning has on the gas mileage on a hot day (is it better to drive with the windows down instead?). And, of course, as Michelle observed, about writing.
Some things are no-brainers; if you’ve got common sense, use it. Some issues require trial and error to solve. Still others deal with matters that are in such a state of flux, by the time we figure out what works best, it doesn’t anymore.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by it all? If you’re alive, my guess is you do. So what do we do about it?
First, view with suspicion any advice that contains the words “always” or “never,” unless they acknowledge exceptions to the rule. Second, give greater heed to the voice of experience than to the authority who goes on book knowledge alone. Use your own judgment; only you know the details of your particular situation.
Above all, accept the fact that you’re going to make mistakes; you’re human. Do your best to make the right decision, and if you mess up, deal with it and move on.
And be patient with others who are in the same fix. Once you’ve reached the point where you never make a bad call, you’re free to criticize others when they foul things up. Until then, cut them a little slack.
At least, that’s the way I see it. I could be wrong, though…