What pointing the finger says about us
The news has been full this week of the sexual misadventures of a high-profile politician in my city. There are calls for him to step down from the post to which he has just recently been re-elected. Others say his moral failings have no bearing on his official duties, and that he should stay. I’m not entering that debate here. I just want to turn the TV camera around to face us, the media audience. Read the rest of this entry »
Why calling a spade a spade is becoming a lost art
What do these people have in common?
An Australian bus driver who used a hidden camera to film up the skirts of hundreds of schoolgirls.
A NZ local body executive who called up a radio station pretending to be a disgruntled ratepayer so she could harangue the mayor on-air.
An American woman who left her six-year-old son alone at home – a son who was later found wandering the streets, distressed.
The common thread is that when their actions were uncovered, all three used the limp excuse called “I made a mistake”.
Excuse me? No, you didn’t make a mistake. You made a decision – a decision to violate the privacy of the vulnerable, to use deceit, to abandon responsibilities. Whatever drove you to push ahead despite the potential consequences, the dubious morality and even the illegality, at some point you determined your wants superseded the rights and needs of others.
We all make mistakes – we add up things wrong, or forget to do something we promised, or in some other way slip up unintentionally. We also, if we are brutally honest, do things that we downright know are either not right or, at the very least, are unwise. There is a difference. One is accidental, the other is deliberate. One is a mistake; the other is an act of will.
It’s time we all took responsibility for our actions. The “I made a mistake” disclaimer is becoming decidedly over-worn.
Why histrionics will hurt you
I recently attended a conference with a wide range of speakers and topics. It was interesting comparing the speaking styles of several of them. Two in particular seem to have taken their approach directly from the worst kind of TV evangelists. They periodically raised their voice in increments, as if trying to speak over the audience’s groundswell of applause and shouts of acclamation. The only thing was that the crowd was largely silent. Read the rest of this entry »