Six Things Explained
Every Nazi believed every other Nazi had character and integrity. Likewise, the Ku Klux Kooks and the Taliban believe themselves to be the high defenders of all that is holy and true.
Your judgment of the “character and integrity” of others is rooted in the values you hold to be self-evident or in the religion to which you subscribe.
Is it only those who believe as you do that have “character and integrity?” That question lies at the feet of the survey I introduced last week. I promised you I would share how we were going to use the information we were gathering. Do you remember?
Actually that information has several uses. But we'll put them in chronological order:
Monday, 9:47AM: There it was. Shortly after the MMMemo went out, I found it in my inbox, right on schedule; the first nitpick, an unintended put-down of me by one of my friends: “Roy – I find it remarkable that character/integrity didn't make it on your list of admirable attributes. The rest are quite a few rungs down on my list. – RS”
It appears that my friend was disappointed in me. By leaving character/integrity off the list, I obviously didn't have any.It doesn't seem to matter that – in anticipation of this – I gave one last instruction at the top of the survey: “One final point of clarity before we begin. You'll notice that certain qualities aren't represented on the list. As an example, “sensitive and artistic.” The underlying question is this: What do you appreciate most about the artist? Is it their skill, the physical ability to do the difficult thing? Is it the impact, the spiritual clarity of the message they're communicating? Is it the fame they've achieved because of their efforts?”
I responded to my friend by email: “Character/Integrity falls solidly in the category of ‘Spiritual Clarity – Inner confidence, people who know who they are and what they believe and are willing to identify themselves as such. (Can be religious or non-religious)'
I apologize that I didn't define the categories more clearly. – Roy H. Williams”
That particular friend was merely the first who wrote last week to critique, correct, or instruct me.
What have we learned so far?
1. Looking into an objective mirror makes us uncomfortable when it comes to matters of self-definition. We crave to control the criteria by which we are judged.
2. When communicating with a tribe, the language of that tribe is incredibly important. (This is the foundation of Persona-Based Marketing and Selling by Personality Type.)
3. The things you don't say are often more important than the things you do say. What you choose to leave out reveals your focus. (The Cognoscenti will recall this as Frameline Magnetism, the seven-eighths of Hemingway's iceberg that is underwater, one of the three principles of Being Perfectly Robert Frank.)
4. Every positive attribute has its negative side. Look again at that list of six categories and you'll see an equal number of positive and negative manifestations for each.
I realize that today's memo may be hard to understand at first. But is it possible that it's valuable enough to warrant a second or third read?
If you are willing to do a frightening thing, if you are willing to run toward the sound of the guns, if you would fight with all your strength against self-righteousness: step out of yourself and see the truth your adversary sees.
I ask you to do this only because I love you.
Roy H. Williams
“There is nothing that makes us feel so good as the idea that someone else is an evildoer.” – Robert Lynd (1879-1949)
“Many consider it happiness to possess and enjoy what they long for, and they consider everyone else unhappy. But those they believe unhappy think the same of them.” – Baltasar Gracian (1638)
“Conservatism, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed. Progressivism, at its very best, breaks down barriers that are no longer needed, or should never have been erected in the first place.” – Can you name the president who said this? Was he a conservative or a liberal?