It’s usually very good advice if only one would follow it oneself! As I was in the middle of suggesting to a friend that she should be walking more, using the trip to work as a way to build in fitness, by wearing runners to and from work and keeping a good pair of shoes in the office – why not stilettos while we’re at it! – to change into at work, it occurred to me that this advice could be just as well applied to me. Instead, I had done things all back to front and left a pair of walking shoes in the office, with the intention, aspiration as it turns out, of going for walks on the other campus along the avenues of old chestnut trees during some hypothetical free moment in the afternoons when I was weary of the desk and the computer. Of course it would have made sense for me to organize things in the way I was advising my friend to do: to wear the walking shoes to and from work and to keep the formal shoes for the office.
Hypocrisy, or rather meanness to oneself
Why do we not ourselves follow the sensible advice we give our friends? Is it out of some self-punitive harshness that we show well-meaning kindness to our friends but not to ourselves? A tendency to shoot oneself in the foot, quite literally in my case, as my toes are sore from trekking to and from work in formal shoes while my comfortable pair languishes unworn in a bag on a shelf in my office!