Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Uncle Johnny Syndrome

I love my Uncle Johnny, I do. The last time I saw him he said, “If somebody would just let me, I could solve all the world’s problems.” And, he really thinks he can. The credit crisis, crime, educational issues, he can do it all! During a family dinner, we discussed African-American women and the pool of eligible men. He said, “If Black women can’t find men to marry, then they need to go to the prisons and find a man with potential.” My dad almost choked on his chicken in response to that one. Uncle Johnny is also an expert on home buying, taxes, the upcoming election and suitable hair styles for women.

Incredibly, he is not usually the most reliable when it comes to advice on anything. Through trial and a lot of error, I’ve learned that if I need advice, I need to get it from an expert and not rely on the Uncle Johnny’s of the world (and there are a lot of them). So now, if I need advice on buying a home, I talk to a realtor. When I need legal advice, I find a lawyer. I go to a tax man for tax advice.

If we are truly committed to leading a life of happiness and satisfaction, we need to surround ourselves not just with people who can support us emotionally, although that is essential, but with people who have the know-how and the expertise that can help us make the right decisions.

And Uncle Johnny, I go to him when I need a good laugh or a lively conversation. He’s good for that.

What's the best, or worse, advice you've received from an Uncle Johnny?

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