"I not call you dummy. I not call you stupid. I not call you jerk."
I said those to-the-point words to my grandfather at a spry three-years-old. He and my grandmother had come down to Minneapolis to visit our family, and my Chief Counsel on Diplomacy (i.e. my mother) advised me it was best I handle this cantankerous man with beguiling charm.
Considering I am the eldest of his six grandchildren, and there are more photos of me than the five others combined, I must have heeded her advice.
But back to the introductory line. My toddler self knew there were words I shouldn't say, no matter how bad I wanted to say them.
Words, whether they're said or not, hold significant truth.
As I've gotten older, I've prescribed to the premise that honesty is the best policy. In board meetings, I am regularly the person who says the tough thing, offers the critical comment to shed perspective and inspire others to consider the whole scenario.
That's how I conduct my personal life, too.
In my closest relationships, I'm not afraid to reveal my feelings, no matter how raw they are. Nor am I timid by frank discussion about grievances and heartaches.
I'd rather put my feelings out there, warts and all, and have all parties involved know where I stand.
My intentions hold no mystery.
I don't know if that's the best plan of action. Some folks keep their emotions close to the vest; I wear mine on the sleeve, complete with bedazzling and DayGlo stitching.
I am honest. I'm proud of that.
And I can run through my days, second guessing others' motivations, thoughts and emotions, but I'm having enough fun keeping mine in check.
I not call you dummy. I not call you stupid. I not call you jerk. But my words will clearly express where you stand with me.
It's the words that aren't said that cause bigger problems and confusion.
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.