“Where do you want me? Under the macramé plant hanger? Really? Didn’t avocado green shag go out in the seventies? All right, all right, I get it! Now is the not the time to be snarky. Just tell me where to go.”
I’ve been called on the carpet.
Recently, I published political opinion on social media. Although posting often, I tend to swerve away from politics for what will shortly become apparent.
Summed up, I catalogued a list of adjectives I felt portrayed one of our politicians.
I’ll own up to the fact that it was less than complementary. However, in my defense, I chose only clearly defined descriptors, veering away from words which criticized physical traits, instead targeting behaviors – which can be transformed. So, as example, I didn’t use the expression “stupid”; a derogatory, extremely judgmental, non-defensible term for someone lacking intelligence. Rather, opting for “ignorant,” meaning uneducated; a state of being that can be remedied if so chosen. Selecting watchfully, I picked words based on measurable, modifiable behaviors. As a mentor of mine said, “Judge the verb, not the noun.”
Most of the responses — as expected — echoed my sentiment; after all, they’re my “friends.” A few folks disagreed. For the most part, they were respectful (kinda…) I countered, in the interest of opening dialog (well, truth be told, also to defend my position).
I expected dissent. What I didn’t foresee was a very simple observation from a long-term reader of this column who stated, “aren’t you the guy who believes in kindness first?”
Ouch. Don’t you hate having principles?
As much as I disliked having to admit it, he might be correct.
How could I defend my post while still remaining true to my belief? At first blush, the two appeared at loggerheads.
It’s easy to be a person of integrity when everyone shares your values; the test comes when challenged logically and respectfully. His post triggered no small amount of consternation, causing me to question, “Is it unkind to point out someone’s flaws?” [Read more…]