Recently I was having a discussion with a young man of my acquaintance. Topics were the usual stuff; life, death, the universe, you know the drill. He had decided on a course of action that were I to describe it here, the majority of you would be snorting the type of howls of derision that would make a pigsty blush.

I listened to his course of action. He laid it out in a very rational way, although his demeanor was not that of a calm man. He struggled to keep check on his emotions. I could see that he wanted to get angry with me for even asking certain questions, for raising particular topics. But the social conventions of our time required both that I ask the questions and that he respond in a sympathetic manner. So we did not fall to beating each other with fine pieces of hickory.

It was only later that the true implications of the conversation dawned on me.

Let me be quite clear that from a strictly hypergamey viewpoint the young man in question has decided on a course of action that will end for him in a world of pain. A world, of pain. For me his path to purgatory is perfectly clear to see. There is no doubt whatsoever that he has made an abominable decision. In fact, it goes against much of what I have written about and learnt over the past several years. To say that I would have much to say on the topic is to give the weight of my potential words severe discredit. The tomes of wisdom that I could have imparted were ponderous indeed.

Like I said, it was only much later and on casual reflection that I happened across the happy truth of the moment. For not only did I give careful attention to and consider what he was saying, I also did something far more elegant:

I gave him no advice.

I offered no opinion on his decision at all. I merely listened and accepted what he had to say. We then concluded the conversation where I wished him the very best of luck.

You must understand that for me this has been a revelation. It has taken me many many years to reach the point were I can freely offer no advice. It is a marvelous freedom. Giving advice is an absolutely awful chore, both for the person doing the giving and the one bearing the receiving. With the giving of advice comes some responsibility for the outcome, particularly if the recipient is so unwise as to follow the unsolicited garbled nonsense that has been thrust his way like so many body parts in some Hungarian peep show thriller.

Anyone can give advice and anyone can not take it. But it takes considerable control and inner calm to not proffer any enlightenment to those lesser beings that surround one. On the realisation that I had not offered my counsel, I literally burst out loud with surprised joy. How marvelous that not only had I held my tongue, but the thought had not even entered my mind to begin the awful process of correction.

It really leads me to believe that there is some faint for us all. Well, with a few exceptions.

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