Advice is Cheap

I'm forever reading these advice lists. "Thirty-five ideas from a ninety-year old woman." "Ten things you should never do." "How to stop being negative." I need some advice on how to remember these and put them to work. These things just don't stick in my head, even for an instant.

Some music acts the same way, like an earworm. The themes from Bonanza or Mash are permanently etched on the brain.  Grieg, Chopin, Gershwin, all stick forever. Haydn, however, doesn't stick long enough to remember a few bars. I don't think of it as a scientific fact, like a peculiar function of the memory cells. I think it's about what gets you in the gut.

I think that's the reason I can't remember all this good advice. It doesn't get to me in that visceral way needed to generate action or reaction. Politicians know this and know how to use it. What they say doesn't have to be true or logical because the message is not aimed at our brain, but our gut-level emotions.

That's why I could never be a politician. I don't know how to do that. I can, however give advice. I pass on all those lists, because all that advice is obviously meant for others, not me.


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