Spadery

I’m often the “bad guy.” In my family people know that if something needs to be said, regardless of whether it’s comfortable or not, it’s likely to come from my mouth. I’m also known for not sugar-coating very much at all when I speak. In a recent yearly review with my manager, it was mentioned more than once by her that my communication is very direct and clear and that people always know what I think, whether good or bad. (For the record, this was cited as a strength which I bring to the company and one for which my manager is glad to have me on her team.) I’ve also been asked to review a few tools at work and the Indian gal (whose first language is not English) who asked me said like, “We want your bad feedback.” Of course, she meant that she wanted me to offer what she knew I’d bring to the table anyway: Very open, honest, and direct discussion, even if critical.

This kind of trait in someone is often valued, but not appreciated – if that makes sense. Everyone values the idea of having someone they can super trust, but most people end up just getting pissed because of the honesty that comes with that trust. And often, a big part of that is the frequency of spades being called spades. People are so used to judging spades for being spades that they might gloss over an instance of spadery being called such, but without that usual judgement. They just assume judgement is happening. This is something that is part of the exhausting work placed on the shoulders of someone like me: Seeing spades without judgement and always having to explain the lack of judgement to others – which also means explaining that they too can call a spade a spade without judging. I’m repeatedly baffled that people struggle so much with this. People are terribly judgmental – so much so, in fact, that it becomes automatic too much of the time.

Maria Wirth, as I’ve written here before, is an inspiration. Back in May of this year she published a post to her WordPress blog which talks about this to a degree and goes into the importance of it. Of course, a bit of her point DOES hinge on making the call to label something as good or bad, which is usually a form of judgement. But she makes her point in a very civilized way and I encourage you to click here to have a look for yourself as she’s far more eloquent than I am.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

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Come Correct

I pull inspiration from many sources. These various sources are a big part of how I became who I am and also who I am becoming. On Guru Purnima each year, I make an attempt to celebrate and honor all the teachers I’ve benefited from – the list usually includes my parents, traditional gurus (some with bajillions of followers), and even drag queens (drag nuns, to be precise). Beyond the main or big teachers in my life, there are those certainly are teachers but perhaps on a lesser scale. This group also includes drag nuns, as well as family and friends, etc… Someone who falls in this second category is a blogger who is known as Maria Wirth.

She’s a German woman living in India and she’s about the only other blogger I know and read who writes posts as long as some of mine are. This is a good thing, and a bad thing. When you’re as long-winded as we are you can be sure that the only people actually reading what you publish are those who value your words and really want to read them. It seems like everyone else just gives up and stays away. I have found Maria to be very balanced and experienced and patient in life. Her perspective and mine often mirror each other (at least insofar as what she has written) and I can relate to many of her opinions.

Something she wrote about not long ago was political correctness in speech. The post, which I encourage you to read for yourself, can be accessed by clicking here. It starts with her recounting a conversation she was a part of in which she said something that kind of made others raise their eyebrows. (Mind you, she knows what she’s talking about in the post – I can verify that.) Shortly after her words, a friend, someone else who was also in the conversation, told Maria that she agreed with Maria’s words but was too scared to say them. Why was she scared? Because it was politically incorrect to say what Maria did. (Side Note: There are many bigoted people around who spout their nonsense and then when they catch hell for it claim that they are victims of nothing more than saying something unpopular. That’s not the case here – although it is something Maria addresses, which is why you should spend the time reading the post I linked you to!)

I related instantly. In my own life, it’s usually only I who says the things I say – and certainly only I who says them in the way I do. I think my life’s equivalent of the what the friend said to Maria is that people here say I can get away with what I say and how I say it because I’m me…. like there’s something fancy about my Joshua-ness. I’ll be among the first to admit that my Joshua-ness is unique. It should be, in the same way that your you-ness should be unique. Plus, I’ve worked really REALLY hard in my life thus far not just to evolve into who I am but to continue that evolution as necessary and even more importantly to be comfortable and secure in that process as well as the results.

But so what? Me being me doesn’t afford me any additional sparkle over anyone else in regard to speaking honest and sometimes blunt truth. The same goes for Maria and, like Maria, I’d not say something for the sake of expressing judgement. Most of the time calling a spade a spade carries no inherent judgement. We’re so used to assuming there’s something about being a spade that is bad that when a spade is called a spade we interpret that – quite wrongly! – as judgement or to be offensive. This is ridiculous because it only highlights the judgement in our own heart – and then we ignorantly mistake it to be judgement coming in the words of the person calling the spade a spade. So ridiculous. We really are sometimes asleep behind the wheel.

It’s worth looking inward to discover and assess why we open our mouths in the ways we do – and more importantly, why we don’t.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Wirth’s Wisdom

Periodically another blogger publishes a post and, while they are invariably a bit long-winded (that’s saying something coming from me! lol), they also invariably possess an excellent viewpoint balanced with reason and devotion and much life experience. I would encourage everyone to check out her blog and her “About Me” page to learn some of her background.

I’ve included a link here to a recent post of hers that I found to be particularly logical and well written. It deals with violence in religion and makes some incredible and valid points. Do give it a look.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti