We often give people suggestions, some giving more suggestions than others. Since I like to talk, when given a chance, and can’t shut up–actually I am a typical introvert, not an extrovert at all, and I don’t know how I’ve become a talkative introvert– I’m often asked for suggestions. Now looking back, I think it started from computer. I always investigate whenever a problem comes up, like a virus, a download textbox, a new software etc. Afterwards, I can’t stop talking about it. After a while, I gain a reputation among my friends on computer issues. Whenever they have a little glitch, they just call me. I tell everybody that I’m no expert, but still I’m asked this and that as if I know everything. Actually I don’t. I am quite ignorant. From computer, it expands to health and diet. Sometimes I am afraid that I am giving the wrong suggestions and may have negative consequences, but still I can’t shut up.
I have to say I often give wrong suggestions whenever relationship is in question. The problem with relationship suggestions is that one often gives suggestions without receiving all the facts. Since relationship is rather private, it is impossible for a friend to relate all the details and give one an elaborate description from both his and her angle. So often one gives suggestions based on garbled information one hears. There were a couple of instances, for which I gave rather uninformed suggestions. I have regretted doing that ever since.
Many years ago, I was a housemate to a girl from East Europe and a guy from South America. The girl was a graduate student studying engineering and the guy was a trainee for a government funded program, for which I’ve already forgotten what it is about. I was on very friendly terms with the girl, who asked me one day if she and the South American should go out. I told her “no” because he might have a girlfriend already in South America–he’s very cute and I don’t believe girls would leave him alone–and also he is shorter than the girl. I couldn’t imagine a girl taller than a guy in a relationship–my imagination was rather poor and dogmas played a very big part in my life in those days. After a while, when they eventually started to go out, I sensed that I had said the wrong thing. Not only that, the guy practically hated me. She must have told him what I had said. I could just imagine their conversation. “Honey, I love you despite all the objections–you are not tall enough; you are already taken.” “Really? Who said that?” I obviously became the sacrificial goat at the altar of their love.
When a friend is down and out, don’t give suggestions. There should be actions to help rather than just verbal suggestions. In the book “Down and Out in Paris and London” by Orwell, he described his self imposed hard life first in Paris then in London after he quit his colonial position in Burma. People gave him suggestions without the understanding that he wanted to be a writer and didn’t want a regular office job. Those suggestions only infuriated Orwell and did nothing to help him.
Nowadays, I am more careful with my suggestions. However sometimes I just want to make a suggestion so much that I don’t care about the cautions anymore. For example, I have a suggestion For Amazon–an audible book by George Orwell doesn’t have to be read by a person with a British accent. Is it necessary to hire an Italian to explain the painting of Mona Lisa? Or hiring Germans to perform Beethoven’s symphonies–it doesn’t sound feasible in many parts of the world? Or finding a Frenchman to give lectures on Sartre and existentialism? Some people just don’t understand how universal the writing, the painting, the symphony, and the philosophy of existentialism are. They try to lend a regional flavor, but that is entirely unnecessary. Orwell is universal. His writing is about general human conditions, understood and loved by millions and millions who have nothing in common with him in race, ancestry, life experiences, or personal tastes.
The audible book “20th Century European Philosophy” is read entirely by people speaking English with an European accent. I don’t understand the need for this. What is this supposed to accomplish? To remind readers these philosophers are not native English speakers? Also I suspect that these people pretend to speak English with an accent. They are regular people who have a good reading voice and are hired to read not only this book but other books as well. They are told to fake an European English accent to read this book. LOL.
The most annoying of all is a book by Erich Fromm on psychology, which is read by a person who overdoes an European English accent with great enthusiasm. I forget which book it is or if it is from Audible at all. Probably from another audiobook source. Since Erich Fromm’s writing is from the era of WWII–I don’t know if he wrote directly in English, or probably he wrote in German or French, which was translated into English later–the sentences are not as easily readable as more recent writings. I had to concentrate to understand each sentence and the deliberately exaggerated accent was very annoying.