You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
That saying dates back to 1175. It dates all the way back to the twelfth century and yet it will always be true.
It never ceases to amaze me how you can tell people and show them what they are doing isn’t the best course of action, yet just like children they refuse to listen or believe what you are saying. They refuse your advice until they walk off the cliff and hit the ground hard.
We all ignore prudent and helpful advice throughout our lives. Sometimes we may not believe the person giving the advice knows what they are talking about.
We have all had bad experiences because we relied on bad advice.
It’s hard to know who you can trust. Those you trust can give you bad advice even though they honestly thought it was the right thing to do. They can lead you down the wrong path out of ignorance.
Sometimes it’s familiarity that causes us to dismiss sound advice, especially from immediate family. I guess we’ve lived with family so long and seen times when they have been wrong. We don’t have that aura of awe with family that we may have with a perfect stranger who could bull shit us straight to hell.
I’ve seen this with my own family and myself.
You may give them sound counsel and yet it’s not taken to heart. Then they talk to someone else perhaps a casual acquaintance or even a perfect stranger from an organization that lends credence to their advice. Now they believe and may even come back and tell you what that person said. What they heard is almost word for word what you said.
One thing I have learned in life is people don’t change unless they truly want to change. I mean unless deep inside they are honest with themselves and say enough is enough. They say I am changing because I have to change. They do not change because someone else wants them to change or tells them to change.
For twenty two years I was a smoker. I knew of all the hazards and had been told thousands of times I should quit for my own good.
I tried to quit a number of times and always failed because I was doing it for other people. I really wasn’t doing it for myself.
I finally succeeded when I said “I don’t want to do this anymore”.
I was led to the water year after year with good, sound advice but was never thirsty enough to drink.
Finally when I needed a drink I found the water.
Don’t be discouraged when you are trying to help those you love with good advice and sharing experiences that could help them avoid trouble and heartache.
They’ll find their water when they are ready.
For now just keep showing them the path to the water.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.