We’re in a society that discourages honesty. What’s worse, we’re in a society that discourages shared candid thought. so… if you ARE going to be honest, sugar coat it with as much bullshit as possible so that it seems as much as a lie as it possibly can. It’s so strange, oft times I look at American society from the perspective of an outsider. Although born and raised here in this country, my method of being raised is not like any other American child. I’m what you call “Nouveau Haitian”: first generation American of Haitian decent. We are not raised like American children… we’re raised as if we’re in Port-au-Prince or cCp Haitien or Jacmel. The only difference is that the school we’d go to would be American. That being said, Haitians are painfully blunt. No need to sugar coat things. Takes more words. Funny that I would be so in love with writing and the art of creating analogies and similies… cause it’s just more words. in speaking… I do try to cut to the chase, because it’s my culture. And even when we try to be flowery about stuff… it still stings. For instance, I have an aunt who takes a more direct path: “What happened to you… you’re so fat!” And then my uncle who takes the “flowery” route: “Your boyfriend must like fat girls.” Both… equally stinging and ego damaging. I come out of my face regularly to people and sometime say things they might not like. Like… calling them a drama queen, or saying that they’re whining. But it’s not to chastise them. Just like when my aunt and uncle say what they say, it’s more so to “notify” me in case I was in the mirror thinking I was hot shit. Giving me the unadulterated outsiders’ perspective so I know what some people are really thinking. So when I tell folks bluntly that way… I’m alerting them to their behavior. maybe they just don’t know that’s how they’re coming off. But… I guess along the way, I may step on some feelings. It’s unintentional. But I’ll always be the person to tell you about the piece of food in your teeth or the eye booger or the stain on your clothes. Better coming from a friend than a stranger.
On that note, we had a staff meeting today with the CEO and founder of the company as well as the president of our division. Something massive happened in the last few weeks and they flew in to address us as a unit, give us an opportunity to vent our frustrations, ask questions, state our opinions. I know how these meetings usually go. The floor is opened. Someone comes out and says some real suck up style shit… and then the meeting adjourns, everyone with unresolved questions and a false sense of security and belief in the company. Thank god for Keith, man. He came out as soon as they open the floor and BLASTED the actions of the company… in front of all present and the founder and ceo of the company. But I have to rationalize that any man who’s fought in a war, jumped out of planes, seen people dismembered by cruelty and risked having his life taken away at any given moment, isn’t really afraid of another person because of how much money he has or power over his job. He was very vocal today at the table and I was impressed. In awe. And a little ashamed of myself. Where was my candor? after the meeting you had two factions of people that approached him. (But when you think about it, they’re the exact same kind of person: the kind this society breeds) One faction would pull him aside and almost whisper, “Yo man… that was the bravest thing I ever saw anyone do in this company. Speaking up for yourself was gangsta!” or “Yo, thanks, Keith. If you didn’t say anything, no one would have.” Then there was the other faction who would come over to him on some ole “Are you alright? Is everything okay? You just seem so angry…” Both sets belong to the culture of say nothing. Say nothing and keep your job. Say nothing and hope your marriage works. Say nothing and maybe this will go away. say nothing and maybe it won’t happen to me. say nothing and die that way. a nothing. good to know that people like Keith exist. bad to know that EVERYONE is wondering if he’ll be canned for his candor, maybe even himself. I’d like to think of him as the kind of person who, knowing persecution was coming, would have admitted to knowing Jesus. I’ve always respected those kinds of folks and wondered if I would have done the same. would have believed in something so great that I’d lose my life for it? I still don’t have an answer from myself. Maybe one day I will. Maybe we all will.