“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.” ~Maggie Kuhn~
Being a great listener is certainly an essential element of all fully-integrated adults. You have been given two ears and one mouth, it has been said, so that you will listen twice as much as speak. A virtuous idea indeed! which should be consistently in your mind during every waking hour.
But…you must stand for something and be willing to defend your values in order to give true meaning to your life. Be respectful to others while being true to yourself.
This is a tough balancing act. And when we speak our minds full force, there is a new tripwire to deal with called political correctness. Every word we say – the anal retentive claim – should be measured by whether it has, does or could offend some group of people.
That may sound Utopian, but in fact it is a dictum of fascism. Language is spicy, dicey or offensive according to which group you are speaking to. Language is our inexact attempt to express clearly and understandably to others how we feel about issues and people and to explain things with clarity.
Wouldn’t you rather hear racial slurs from a racist? Or would you rather hear something like this: “Some of my best friends ARE Jews (Negroes, Arab, etc.)?” Just hearing that often makes me believe that the man or woman is a closet racist with a dollop of whip cream covering the truth.
“Oh darn” is really “Oh dammit” dressed in a bonnet. You fool nobody by saying the former because the latter is what you wish to say. So say it, and let the chips fall where they may.
Wars and other human relation difficulties are caused by obfuscating our real mind and real intentions. When a person’s trust has been called into question, then every utterance which follows this judgment will also be doubted as a lie or a manipulation. This same principle can be extended to relations between nations.
So spice your language when it reflects your true sentiments. Some arching, self-proclaimed pious folks may raise their collective eyebrows, but at least they know where you stand. That’s a big plus in a world of smoke-and-mirrors.