Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
This is true, breathtakingly, maddeningly true.
I hate the person who wrote this.
One of the blogs I read is by a young Mormon man who is trying to pray away the gay. As I read his blog I'm struck by how history repeats itself over and over and over again. His story was my story when I was younger. Is there anything I could tell this young gay Mormon man that he could actually hear? Isn't it the case that he would have to go through what I went through himself? Isn't free advice is worth what you pay for it? For the record, I don't comment on the young man's blog even though that's my impulse.
I go back and forth on this. I'm not convinced. Young gay Mormons already get a lot of advice, most of it over the pulpit, some of it quite damaging. Maybe there needs to be a counterpoint for balance. On the other hand, I can't deny that my inclination to give advice comes from my own ruminations about the past I've lived. These memories come with a sharpness that is sometimes painful. Passing them to others feels redemptive but is probably nothing more than the sentimentality of the aged.
I think I'll be offering less advice in the future.