What it means to be candid
The world as viewed by a partisan. It’s silly, but they really do think this way
The world is being pulled apart by different interests.
Some want to exploit resources. Others want to sustainably use them.
Some want to exploit people. Others want to treat them fairly.
Some don’t care what damage they do to get to the top. Others are committed to speaking truth to power.
One way to climb your way in life is to pick whatever interest group fits you, and fight for their cause. Maybe it’s a particular industry. Maybe it’s a church. Perhaps it’s a political group.
Whatever you choose, be careful. It’s easy to develop hyper loyalty, becoming a partisan – a person who will doing whatever it takes, including the unethical, to support their cause at all costs.
Would you ignore an inconvenient truth that undermines your cause? Would you lie for your cause?
I’m sure many would say no, and yet history is stained with example after example after example of folks who can and do just that. Heck, people have straight up murdered by the millions for the sake of pushing a lie. Some are even proud of it, boasting of their skills at “warping reality” through political tricks and conman techniques.
When people give unethical support to their causes, the world suffers for it.
Sometimes that suffering seems small. A lie here, a swept away fact there, a misleading claim that can’t be immediately proven or discredited on the spot.
But little lies turn into big lies. Big lies turn into doctrine. Doctrine turns into group action. Group action powered by lies can result in catastrophic atrocities. Atrocities create divisions between people groups, interfering with the lives of every day people to the point where prejudice and mistrust reign supreme.
But you my reader, you are better than this. The path of the partisan is not for you. It stains the conscience, and sets you up to be fooled by disinformation. Human tendency is to believe what we agree with without question, so you must actively resist lest you fall to propaganda.
Partisanship is a betrayal of truth.
So what is the alternative?
Radical candor is where truth IS your loving cause
You are not necessarily on team A or B, though you can root for a side. But at heart, you are a referee, calling out the good and the bad of all parties.
Like most referees, you will be hated. Partisans do not like people like you. But realize that they are not your true enemy.
Your true enemy is the lies that power their partisanship.
How do you conquer those lies?
You conquer them through loving, empathetic truth.
Truth alone is not enough. Without loving empathy, it cuts well but hurts those you want to reach. You’ll destroy your personal relationships, and then no one will care to hear what you have to say.
Loving empathy is not enough either. Without truth, you might attract people for a while but they will quickly realize the shallowness of your message. You will not challenge them, and thus your leadership and influence will have all the efficacy of a wet noodle.
Learning how to combine truth with love is a life long journey. But if you can master it, you can achieve greatness – the kind that makes the world a better place for everyone.
Even the partisans.