“The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.” Hannah Whitall Smith
A friend of mine recently informed me of her decision to change career paths. I knew it was inevitable, as she had always been inclined to follow this path. However, I subsequently learned that she had decided to forgo her decision as it had met with her mother’s disapproval. I was bitterly disappointed since I knew my friend was passionate about her new venture.
My friend’s mother insisted I advise my friend against pursuing her chosen career path because she thought it was unacceptable for her daughter. I replied that I was unable to do this as her daughter was an adult and fully capable of making her own choices. I also stated that the decisions she (her mother) thought were correct might not necessarily be appropriate for her daughter.
I was completely dumbfounded by the situation. My friend was willing to forgo her happiness and chosen career path to satisfy her mother. Although I had explained my point of view to my friend’s mother, I chose not to elaborate my view to my friend. My friend seemed adamant with her decision and therefore I thought not to give my 10 cents worth. However, it bothers me that her mother still controls her daughter’s life and worst still her daughter allows it. As much as it angered me I felt that it was not my place to get involved seeing as both parties had adjusted to the outcome.
People’s choices for happiness are completely personal and therefore I struggle when others interfere stating it is wrong or unsuitable because what they are actually saying is that choice is improper for them! As a parent, I hope to instil good values and encourage independence in my children and acknowledge that eventually they will be responsible for their own choices. To constantly interfere in the decisions my children make as adults, would cease to allow them to grow and expand and to jeopardise their happiness is something I wish not to be accountable for.