Iím not going to say them. But I want you to think about them.
the years, itís been bothering me when people do say them. And
the reason that itís been bothering me isnít found in the specific
words. Words have weight, and words have meaning, and words can
strike at others. They have power and can damage.
troublesome part for me, however, is that I usually find that
when people are questioned about using them in not-so-kind ways,
they arenít actually sorry they said what they said.
sorry because they got caught.
you think about the two ideas, itís not difficult to see there
is a massively vast distance between the two.
arenít sorry they said what they said. Theyíre sorry because
they got caught.
need to consider three things hereÖ
the people that truly are sorry for what they said. Second, about
those people that got caught. And third, that people gave you
a glimpse of the truth. But as a starterÖ
elements define character? Or, more precisely, if we are going
to open up a period of judgement against a person, where do we
look for the evidence?
think, if we are going to come up with any type of simple summary,
we need to be able to figure out a way to determine what is in
a personís head and heart. What do they truly believe? What do
they truly feel? That is not simple at all, and itís at the very
center of my observation about being sorry about what you may
have done versus being sorry because you got caught.
risk pulling things out of context when applying sweeping standards
such as what language or words have been used, who stands next
to a person in a photograph, and trying to rise above stereotypes
while applying stereotypes to define it. Two examples:
new restaurant opens up in your town. ChineseÖ ItalianÖ MexicanÖ
select the cuisine of your choice to create the menu. Now, what
do the owners look like? Who is in the kitchen?
than thirty years ago, Paul Simon and Sting were releasing new
albums. Check out Simonís albums Graceland and The
Rhythm of the Saints. Look at some of the comments and critiques
about Stingís band and musical influences around the time of The
Dream of the Blue Turtles.
I am trying to establish is simple. There are talents and skills,
influences and motivations, and occasionally round pegs work perfectly
fine with square holes. But before you can determine whether or
not a person is being honest and true in deed and thought, you
need to know where those deeds and thoughts are developing.
the accusations begin. We hear about stereotypes about who can
do certain things. Appropriation. Identity. Labels. These are
just the surface concepts as well. We havenít wandered down into
prejudice, discrimination and more.
now, we get to our three-part progression.
people sorry for what they said?
a tricky question.
people actually are. They either didnít intend the harm they caused,
or, they use it as a learning experience to grow and improve.
are most definitely not. They may slide into damage control mode,
where they defend their actions, attack the criticisms, or look
for ways to support what an outstanding and misunderstood person
they truly are.
be virtually impossible to gauge the truth, especially living
in a day and age of immediacy. Reporters and activists want justice
now, often at the expense of reality.
that brings us to the people that got caught.
were they caught? What did they do? Why is it important?
sorts of topics floating around for consideration.
an old idea for providing clarity in any situationÖ when in doubt,
follow the money. And may I say without deep research or evidence,
itís amazing how often apology tours accompany attempts at salvaging
career status. Thatís not a positive character trait on display.
Thatís not the truth within head and heart. Thatís self-preservation
with an underlying leaning toward entitlement and narcissism.
my many years of personal experience and development, there is
one piece of advice Iíve found to be true more often than not:
For initial impressions, the most trustworthy sources are children
and puppies. And this advice is something I keep coming back toward
as I try to consider, develop, sort and express my opinions on
this idea. The rest of us are too clouded in judgement by the
fog of experience.
I donít believe there are definitive areas that cannot be visited
by anyone. Be it the words we are or are not allowed to speak,
the styles we are not allowed to dress, the foods and music and
cultures and more that are out there to be found.
we truly mean that inclusion is important and diversity provides
strength, the end result is that inclusion and diversity must
be experienced and embraced.
to judge usually comes at a cost of understanding. Or, as expressed
so wonderfully by Neil Peart and Rush in the song ďWitch HuntĒ:
ďQuick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand.Ē Great song.
you plan on judging others for their actions and words, in order
to be fair and honest you need to be willing to understand.