Free advice that will cost you

This post is inspired by a few things:

  • Hurricane Sandy that hit NYC and Northeast a few weeks ago and left many people without homes (that cost them lots of effort and money to acquire)
  • This very thought- and comment-provoking post from the Cup of Jo blog on women who don’t want to have children
  • A conversation with my friend Ohn on having one “true love” per person, per life

These are all very controversial topics and eeeeeveryone and their cats have advice for you! Some common “wisdoms” are:

“You should buy a house, it’s such a good investment. Especially if you plan to raise your kids, you NEED a house!”

“Kids are the greatest joy in life! If you don’t want kids, you are selfish”

“You have to find your soulmate, and once you do, you two will be together forever”

Don’t you “love” these people who got certain ideas imprinted in their brains? They think they are doing your a service by putting you on the one and only right path to eternal happiness: home ownership + procreation + life-long committed relationship with one person. And if somehow you’re not on that path, something is awfully, horribly wrong with you, poor lost little lamb!

But fear not, because someone out there has FREE ADVICE for you!

I wish people minded their own business and focused on their own well-being and happiness instead of prodding into someone else’s life. If having kids brings you joy – have them, but don’t assume it’s the same for other people. Or enjoy your open relationship – as long as everyone in this relationship is cool with it and happy.

It’s sad that so often, people are buying homes and having kids and are stuck in bad relationships “because it’s the next step”, “because everyone else is doing it” or “because my parents told me to”, without thinking it through and being honest with themselves, then get consumed by debt, stress, sleepless nights and depression.

And if you really want to have a great conversation, instead of giving advice, tell me about all the good things you’ve done: started a company that truly helps people (whether if it’s educating their kids or finding open-minded partners), open-sourced your code, wrote an article that inspired creativity, donated to help save world’s oceans… As far as advice goes, only give it when specifically asked, consider all the circumstances, and don’t judge.

Now, what color shoes should I get? Hot pink or electric blue?

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