Logan P. Smith, essayist and critic once said: It takes a great man to give sound advice tactfully. One of the things that are vital for the development and improvement of each and every individual is advice. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that many people nowadays tend to give advice in the most offensive and aggressive manner. If this is how people will give advice from now on, then no one will ever benefit from it.
To elaborate more, an Emirati designer recently used a traditional element in her shoe design with the intention of promoting it and showing how much she’s proud of it. Whether or not she succeeded with her intentions is not relevant to the topic, but the reaction of our society is. People called her & her family with names, and they cursed her, her design, and work.
When did we reach a state where people would turn against each other because of a misunderstanding? The designer, for instance, did not commit a crime; and even if her design was against what the some finds appropriate she deserves a “gentle” advice, not a brutal verbal attack. The people who fought her probably didn’t even know that her shoe design was only for exhibition purposes, and wasn’t meant to be worn. That method only spawned hatred and detestation and no one will ever be receptive to such advice.
“Most people when they come to you for advice, come to have their own opinions strengthened, not corrected.“ (Josh Billings). Whether we are the ones giving the advice or receiving it, we need to keep in mind that it is all a matter of opinion, and therefore, we need to be aware that our opinions can be wrong. So when we decide to share our opinions, we should be open to hearing out what the other side has to say.
When Van Gogh created his post-impressionist artwork, he was mocked. No one took his work seriously, and the only painting he ever sold was to his brother. And until now many people with no artistic knowledge look at his work and think it’s ridiculous. If you’d look at the difference between Van Gogh’s painting and James Hart’s painting below, you would realize that because Van Gogh came up with something so diverse than what was commonly known, he was rejected.
Who would have thought at that time that the work of the outcast who was so depressed and unfortunate that he blew up his ear, would sell for millions of dollars. We always judge people based on a criteria we made up on our own. But to others, those people whom we judge can look like stars. If we make insulting remarks, we are basically taking away those stars’ sparkle.
Yes, we are entitled to have our opinion and give it to others, but others are also entitled to have our respect. It’s more constructive to make your point while having an open mind. Sharing thoughts and ideas is a good thing, but there is no need for us to turn it into something despiteful and vulgar.
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.