When is Offering Unsolicited Advice an Act of Goodness?

Is unsolicited advice morally permissible or is it always an act of indulgence by the advice-giver?

I wrote an article. Someone I knew came across it online and read it, and then called to give me some advice on my article. When is unsolicited advice appropriate and when is it inappropriate?

I work at an elementary school in a 6th-grade class. All day long I’m giving students unsolicited advice, and that feels appropriate, but that doesn’t mean that it always is.

As a mom, it is not uncommon for me to give my kids unsolicited advice.

Stereotypically speaking, Mother-in-laws are known for giving unsolicited advice, and moms are known to give unsolicited advice to their adult children. That feels less appropriate, but does that mean that it always is?

I’ve even had my kids give me some unsolicited advice.

What about letting someone know about the piece of lettuce stuck in their front tooth? And what about the time I had front row seats to hear one of my favorite professors speak at evening honoring him for a prestigious teaching award that he was receiving. The room was packed full of his admiring students, and before he took the stage, sitting in the front row, I could see that he had forgotten to zip his zipper. Wouldn’t that kind of unsolicited advice be good?

In the Book of Mormon you can read about Adinadi who came before his people and told them that they needed to make some changes in their lives before their actions lead them to captivity and bondage. No one asked him to speak before the city, he just started preaching. Is that type of unsolicited advice a moral act of goodness?

What is it that makes unsolicited advice an act of goodness and what is that makes it a selfish act of indulgence?

September 20, 2019

Time on this piece: 30 minutes

Total time writing on this blog: 23 hours and 30 minutes