a little something extra

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Principles: on speech

It's a three-for-one today, folks. I was musing on what principle to post, and I bet there is actually a uniting principle somewhere underpinning the three of these. But I couldn't winkle it out, so I'll put up the three. Maybe one of you will be able to identify the unifying principle!

1. Those who choose not to participate in the making, don't get to bitch about the outcome. A.K.A. the Election Principle, for example: if I don't vote, I forfeit my right to complain about the measures or people who are elected. But the same is true for any decisionmaking process, large or small. Important caveat, though: this principle addresses choosing not to participate. Those who are excluded from making or decisionmaking (I'm looking at you, RCC) have every right to bitch about the outcome.

2. Those who got it, don't talk about it, and those who talk about it, probably don't got it. (grammar deliberate. yes.) A.K.A. the ESP Principle, for example: those who claim to be "good readers" of other people's thoughts and feelings, usually aren't. But in my life, it extends to discussion of talent and other such personal attributes. This principle's important caveat involves avoiding false modesty. In my world, you don't bring up the fact that (for example) you sing well. But if somebody else brings it up and compliments you, you don't deny it -- that's false modesty. You thank them and move the conversation on.

3. Say exactly what you mean. A.K.A. the Responsibility Principle, which is to say, I am responsible for everything I say and everything I do. Being drunk isn't an excuse -- I'm still responsible for anything I say or anything I do when I'm drunk. Being angry isn't an excuse -- I'm still responsible for anything I say or anything I do when I'm angry. Etc. etc. and so forth.


At 8:21 PM , Blogger Benjamin said...

Seems to me the theme here is "own it". You got an opinion about something, own it : vote; you got skills, own it : no false modesty, and no arrogance; and *always* be the kind of person you think you are : own it.

The more I read this the more I'm hating the phrase "own it", but I can't think of anything better just now.


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