Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 31, 2012 | Comments (0)

The Difference Between Advice and Common Sense

In my counseling, I have become aware of the importance of advice.  When you ask someone for advice it does not cost you anything.  You can buy a book, go on line or take a study course on topics such as parenting, marriage and family relations for a price.  You can get advice from a marriage counselor at the cost of around fifty dollars an hour.  A psychologist will charge over a hundred dollars and give you less advice.  Finally a psychiatrist charges you over two hundred dollars an hour and you are "lucky" to get any advice.  What this tells me is the more you pay for advice, the less you get because advice itself is not worth very much. A major problem is, many seek advice first and then, if all else fails, they go into denial rather than seek common sense.  There once was a time when common sense was first.

We live in an age in which we have passed over the old fashioned common sense to get to advice because it does not take as much time as discovering common sense. We prefer to have the quicker, drive in and out advice.  This kind of advice is like fast food.  It is full of things that are not good for anyone.  Advice can come from the advice giver through study, reading and education.  The best advice comes from the advice giver's own common sense.  However why not teach people to fish rather than just give them a fish?  Once they learn how to find their common sense, they may not need all the advice they get.  Using their own Wisdom will have more truth and impact than using someone else's wisdom.

The advantage of common sense is that it is an innate part of our life.  It is as much a part of our system as the beating of our heart and the breathing of our lungs.  It has not left us. We have just stopped our connection with it.

It is always available to everyone.  It does not depend on whether one is young or old, rich or poor, educated or not.

One of the best examples of common sense is the way parents learn to parent their children. Granted there are many cases of abuse and terrible parenting. However, it is obvious if they are using common sense or misguided rage.

Seeking advice can be very helpful when it is salted with the wisdom of common sense. Common sense is about understanding, rather than learning. It is not something you learn to do.  It is something you discover you have already been doing.  We need to do it first. Then we can discover how we did it by identifying what we did. It works best as a daily habit rather than as a last resort.

Common sense comes from the way we feel when being at Peace. We all have an innate Peace. We all have a "common sense button" within us.  When we push it, the door opens to our inner Peace. We push the button by wondering.

Take an example to check it out.  Consider a current relationship problem you are having. Who are you most angry with? The anger comes from thinking the other person is pushing your "anger button".  Push your inner Peace button by wondering what difference it makes if you are feeling angry or if you feel at Peace? If you discover the difference, you have discovered your "common sense button".

More material on how common sense works can be found in the blogs, videos and thoughts.

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