This Maxim talks about giving advice when needed. This is sometimes harder to do than it appears as we need to give the advice at the right time as well as about the right subject. This involves a process of active listening in order to accomplish. We have to listen first before we can give our counsel and we need to ensure that what we are saying is appropriate to the situation at the time. We must also take our own emotions out of the equation as much as is possible so that our own situation will not bias our advice in any way.
This process takes time to learn – especially the part about proper timing – and because of this should not be looked on as something we automatically know how to do. We all have had experiences where either ‘we should have known’ or ‘should have said something’ about what a friend has been going through. It is these experiences that teach us proper timing and the need to speak out in a timely manner. If we do not give our advice when it will do the most good it is as if we did not give it at all. This does us and our friends no good and can often damage the friendship as well.