Censorship: damned if you do and damned if you don’t

I’ve always maintained that there’s a huge difference between not-saying and lying, especially in matters of the heart. It seems I’ve been doing a lot of not-saying lately (both in my personal and professional life) and yet it feels as though I’m being punished for lying.

The luxury of saying what you mean, and meaning what you say, is one that I’ve rarely felt, but that has mainly been caused by my own verbal incapacity rather than moral and political motivations.

I am dismayed by the general bad name diplomacy seems to get in the press and elsewhere these days: it’s clear to me that there’s currency in the ability to package information in a certain way and in the ability to manage relationships with people… We’re all different, after all, and interpret the same things in myriad different ways. If diplomacy is about finding and communicating a positive message, then I’m in. But therein lies the problem. Diplomacy also involves framing negative messages in such a way as to make them palatable.

Saying everything (as the opposite of not-saying) is simply impossible – who knows what is and is not relevant? But in the interests of easy and stable relationships, perhaps there is a case to be made for avoiding censorship – if only everyone valued honesty above all else.

If there is a fine line between a gusher and a mute, it seems I’m unable to find it.

(N.B I use gush as a transient verb here (I think), just to avoid any accusations of lewdness)


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