Tell me How to Live my Life!

I have no idea the origin of the phrase, "Don't tell me how to live my life." It probably came from a bad rap song or something, but people have taken it to heart and I therefore must debunk it.

Before you comment, Don't Tell me How to Make my Images!

Usually people just use the phrase when joking around, but as with everything these days, there are people who take it as a life lesson. It's become an excuse to do the stupidest things possible to themselves.

For example, I was waltzing around work one day. That's what I normally do; waltz. I overheard a coworker say something about drugs. I didn't say anything, but my face must have displayed my state of mind because the person said in the most serious way possible, "Don't tell me how to live my life!" I started "but..." and the other person in the conversation said, "to each his own, whatever man." Right there I shut my mouth. I realized that my coworkers had a far greater arsenal of cliches than I did, and no amount of logic would change the balance to my favor.

"Oh well" I thought, "I'll just blog about it."

As a practicing Christian, I've heard the Proverbs and I therefore know just how faulty the phrase in question is. Proverbs 12:15 essentially wrote this blog post for me, thousands of years in advance.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 12:1 says something similar even more directly.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.

It makes sense, doesn't it?

People with more experience and knowledge than you pumping correction and good advice into you will allow you have more experience and knowledge.

On the same token, a dumb person who never improves is still dumb.

I understand the paradox here. A person who wouldn't listen to somebody tell them how to live their life wouldn't want me to tell them to live their life by letting people tell them how to live their life. I think that's why Proverbs uses such loaded terms as 'fool' and 'stupid'. It makes the most stubborn people look at it and question their level of intelligence.

That doesn't mean you should spout off your own thought processes at everyone you think can benefit. If you have concrete experience, and care about the well-being of somebody else about to make a stupid mistake, it's definitely helpful to let them know what you're thinking.

Hopefully you'll do the same for me. I don't plan on making any dumb mistakes in the near future, but if I do I hope my friends and family will not be scared to speak out and DO tell me how to live my life.