Free advice

Don’t ask for permission.

If granted permission,

keep it to yourself. Permission

is privilege. If denied permission,

gracefully withdraw.

Don’t wait to be told.

Don’t volunteer information.

Don’t lie if you tell.

Don’t ask if you know the answer.

Don’t ask if intransigent.

Accept what is volunteered

as half the truth,

the other half contrived.

If it is not yours, leave it alone.

If you don’t have it, you don’t need it now.

See, when you look; hear, when you listen;

feel, when you touch. Commit at least

names and eye colours to memory.

Truth is in the eyes; they alone will betray deceit.

Affection that demands reciprocation is feigned.

Listen to the secrets of others only if

you can keep them. Confessions are meant

to be heard; secrets are best kept silent.

What you don’t know, you can feel somehow.

Give, always, as much as you can,

rather than as little as you might.

Be as you appear. Appear as you are.