Home » God bothering » Christainity » Radical honesty, or strapped for tact.

Radical honesty, or strapped for tact.

We live  our lives steeped in expectations that we should be eternally vigilant lest we upset the feelings of others and you know what I can see the social value of that in providing a sort of social lubricant  that belies the need to explain what you really feel and then to subsequently ameliorate any unintended hurt or offence that your straight shooting honesty may have caused. This when someone asks us  what we think about that new outfit or hairdo  we are more likely than to give them some sort of positive affirmation even when we sincerely think the result is, well, not an improvement or even at all atheistically pleasing. It takes an effort to do this if you are at all self-aware  and one thing that chronic pain does is make you hyper-self -aware and often  rather strapped for tact.

In the normal course of the day I don’t actually see that many people and those I do see tend to be those I genuinely care about so its rather easy to make the effort not to be brutally  honest in my interactions with them. For those who are out side this circle of compassion I seem to be generally able to at least be neutral in my responses to their clear need for affirmation.

One of the downsides of our Christian society seems to be the rather  bizarre expectation that no matter how much someone has sinned against you  you are expected to offer them compassion and concern when they are laid low by some major health crisis. No matter how much of an arse they have been it is clearly considered bad form to be radically honest with them about your indifference  to their plight or worse yet to suggest that they may have even deserved  their medical  misfortune.  Frankly I say no to this sort of dishonesty and if ever there is a time for some radical honesty its when your self styled enemies are having to perform a bit of self reflection about the way they live their lives and to contemplate their own mortality. If they have offended you I see nothing wrong whatsoever in sharing to the seductive pleasure of schadenfreude   with the object of your disdain an appreciation of Karma, that in the larger scheme of things there is a sort of divine justice.   It is after all just how I feel about the acts and behaviour of others and even myself. We all carry a chain that is forged by the things that we do in our lives and of course I acknowledge that I have my own clanking baggage, but I can’t change the past  and I refuse submit to any regret or the vain wish that the timeline be different. All that I can do is live in the now as I now think is the most honest and honourable manner to show as much kindness as I can to the deserving and as little cruelty  to those who deserve it as I can.

Cruelty is rather like chilli, a little is a fine garnish  but too much causes burning at both ends and can even be fatal in a high concentrations. If we are radically honest with ourselves then we can admit that we all, on occasion, take some delight in the suffering of  an enemy or unpleasant opponent in an argument.  I am all together too radically honest sometimes but that is just the way I am and I see no reason to change that. In fact I think that the world would be a better place if at least some of the hypocritical artifice of  faux eternal care and compassion were stripped away from our social intercourse in person and especially on the internet where false flags  are sadly all to common.   I can’t help thinking that those who make the biggest fuss about my radical honesty are not actually upset  by the apparent cruelty of my disdain but the underlying fear that I might just be right. Frankly there is nothing that upsets a sinner like pointing out their sins and the divine justice that they have so well  earned by the way that they conduct themselves in this all too short turn upon the wheel of life.

Cheers Comrades.

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2 Comments

  1. Simon says:

    An interesting and I feel heartfelt post. Different than the hard hitting political analysis and news-behind-the-news I’ve come to expect and being informed reading about. Thank you Iain.

    I’m reminded of the adages of “Turning the other cheek” and “Treating others how you’d like to be treated yourself” and how hard than can be when you’re trying to fulfill a professional role. Most jobs would be hard enough but the cut-n-thrust of politics, especially in election season must make it incredibly tough not to hold personal grudges against an opponent. Alan Jones making light of the passing of the Prime Minister’s father was not something shared by the opposition and perhaps excusable as a moment of poor judgement.

    I think it’s the mark of a good statesman in that while they never forget, they are capable of forgiving, seeing the base humanity of someone from across the aisle or in their own party who has wronged them. How else can you be expected the work constructively for the betterment of the people if a blind fury gets in the way of some level of detente.

    Another hokey saying is walking in another man’s shoes… again something I think we can all be guilty of. Tamil and Afghan refugees arriving by boats are just wanting the same things we all do: safety and a future for our families, and while our first-world struggles would be something they might consider a good day we do have to be practical and say where do we draw the line?

  2. GD says:

    Thoughtful reply, Simon, and yes, Iain, a very heartfelt post.

    However…

    Tamil and Afghan refugees arriving by boats are just wanting the same things we all do: safety and a future for our families,

    Boat people have cash, $10,000 in cash, to pay the smugglers. The people languishing in UN refugee camps have nothing. Their hope is that Australia’s humanitarian program will rescue them from their despair. The country-shoppers, with cash in their pockets, are usurping this most desperate and needy situation in order to jump the queue.

    The bleeding heart sympathy from the left is focused on the wrong group.

    Simon raises another pertinent point.

    How can you be expected to work constructively for the betterment of the people if a blind fury gets in the way of some level of detente.

    To witness ‘blind fury’ you only have to look at Gillard’s fatuous misogynist speech directed at Tony Abbott. Gillard’s staged speech was delivered when she should have been addressing Labor’s problem of installing a woman-hating Speaker of the House. Instead she directed her venom at a bemused Tony Abbott. Blind fury indeed.

    Stephen Comrade Conroy is no stranger to ‘blind fury’. His unrelenting and unremitting attack on the Australian media has recently ramped up from attempting to censor the internet to introducing government regulation of newspapers and television. You can sense his fury increasing at every roadblock. Of course, the federally funded ABC and SBS are exempt from his tyrannical demands.

    Crying Conroy further used ‘blind fury’ in an emotional outburst against nuclear power. He broke down in tears in Parliament, telling Hansard that he’d experienced a real life situation of nuclear contamination in his home town in England. It turns out that the ‘contamination’ resulted in milk supplies being halted for a week. There were no deaths or injuries. And it all happened six years before Crying Conroy was born.

    That is ‘blind fury’ and I agree, it has no place in Australian politics.

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