As we’ve become more and more a politically correct society, the habit of talking around topics instead of speaking directly to issues has become prevalent. Maybe it’s a fear of not wanting to be controversial or potentially offensive? Maybe it’s a way of trying to please all of the people all of the time? … a dubious and unattainable goal.
The problem is we don’t talk straight to subjects in simple, understandable language. Issues, or even a single concept, become blurry, complicated, and eventually not addressed because all the verbal gymnastics make issues confusing.
There is a scene in the movie Forrest Gump when both Forrest and Lt. Dan are in the Army hospital recovering from their war wounds. It’s late at night and everyone is asleep. Suddenly, Lt. Dan aggressively drags Forrest out of his bed onto the floor. He accuses Forrest of cheating him from his destiny. He was supposed to die on the battlefield with honor. Instead, now he’s nothing but a cripple and legless freak. As the energy of his outburst subsides, Lt. Dan laments, “This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not to me. I had a destiny. I was Lieutenant Dan Taylor.”
Forrest’s simple and straight reply is, “You… You’re still Lieutenant Dan.”
A politically correct answer might have been, “Maybe your destiny is still to come?” or “Don’t feel bad. I don’t think you’re a freak – prosthetics and the ADA make living a normal life much easier,” or “Destiny is way overrated anyway! … Don’t worry about it!”
Instead, Forrest spoke simply and straight to the issue: “You’re still Lt. Dan!” And that is all that really mattered. From that simple starting point, the broken pieces could be picked up, and life could go on.
With my hypothetical PC answers, more questions remain to be answered. Moving forward is left lying on the ground – still waiting and wanting answers.
Why have we become so PC to the point of avoiding straight talk about problems?
Do you use PC talk to avoid making tough choices?
Are you willing to use Gump-style straight talk to simplify issues and take action?
Next Blog Title: Shrimpin’ is Tough … So is Life.
Next Blog Date: March 24, 2011