Category Archives: Suze Orman

April 21, 2013, 3:56 pm

On the Giving and Taking of Advice

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The mother of us all: Pauline Friedman Phillips, aka Abigail “Dear Abby” van Buren

Ten years ago, in the midst of a conversation, a colleague temporarily lost her temper at me. “Please stop giving me advice!” she snapped. “I don’t want any advice. I just want to talk about this!”

Needless to say, I was shocked and a little hurt. But upon further reflection, I had to admit that a flaw in my socialization had been usefully uncovered.  My friend had not asked for any advice, and yet I had offered it anyway. Why?

The giving and taking of advice is so ubiquitous in university life that it defines whole categories of activity that blur the line between personal and professional. In graduate school, members of my cohort gave each other advice, and it was often at least as good as the advice we got from faculty. …

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February 13, 2011, 5:39 pm

Deep Cleaning, And Other Cosmic Issues: A Review of “Clutter Busting”

Brooks Palmer, Clutter Busting:  Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back (Novato, California:  New World Library, 2009).  219 pp. $13.95, paper.

One of the reasons that self-help books are so successful is that they introduce complex thinking to people who aren’t normally exposed to it, or who are made uncomfortable by it.  Conversely, self-help books introduce simple thinking to people who spend most of their time thinking, or at least acting, complexly.  The formula for a successful self-help book, as far as I can tell, is a title that invites the potential reader into the utopian possibility of relieving the stress of the modern condition, and simultaneously becoming modern in a far more successful way.

Take the slow food movement, as it has manifested itself in the United States.  Inspired by former commune resident, and now Chez Panisse chef, Alice Waters, slow food ideology argues that…

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