Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some Things are Better Left Unsaid

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.” - Winston Churchill

Lately, I've been doing a bit of self-assessment, and have come to the realisation that I frequently voice many strong beliefs and opinions. Some would say that having an opinion and voicing it is a good thing, while others feel that opinions should be kept to oneself, because letting them out may create tension. Personally, I don't mind sharing my personal views on things, however in the past, some people have taken some things I've said in the wrong way. A lot of these things are my attempts at humour. For those of you who have ever watched Good News Week, you would be familiar with the dark humour that the show fosters. Many of the jokes told on that show are said with the intention to shock, and are centred around current affairs, or things that shouldn't be joked about. Yet people still laugh. There's an old saying that goes "Comedy is tragedy plus time." What this means is that a tragedy can be made into a joke, as long as enough time has passed since the tragedy occurred. Most of the time, I don't allow an adequate amount of time to pass, and I will say something that may be controversial, even if it's about a recent tragedy. People may take offence to what I say, but I brace myself for all kinds of reactions before I say something controversial. You may have heard me make jokes about religion before...not only religion itself, but God, Jesus, etc. Let me just clarify that religion is not above criticism. Just because some people consider religion sacred, and integral to their daily lives, doesn't mean that every individual must treat it with reverence. Anyway, that's all I'll say about religion, because too much criticism of religion will create an uproar. It always does. Now, some would say that my words on religion were accurate, and that they should have been expressed. Others will say that I said too much, and that I should have kept those things to myself. Personally, I think I said just the right amount of words on religion. I knew where to draw the line.

The reason I say a lot of things that may seem 'harsh' is because I know that others are thinking it, but are too afraid to say it. I value the truth, so I'm always happy to provide 'the other side of the story'. I really don't like when things are sugarcoated. People will believe anything they read in a newspaper these days. They will blindly conform to the latest trends. I'm the voice in the crowd who says "It's not as sweet as it sounds" or "You are wrong, and this is why..." Some people may look at me differently because I say such things, but it's the real me, so I'm not gonna sacrifice my true self for their approval. Despite this, there are times when even I realise what's right to say and what isn't. For example, if a young child presented me with a drawing of a house, and asked me if I liked it, then I would say yes, even if the drawing looked horrible. Young children have very fragile emotions, so saying something like "No, it looks like utter shit" would completely devastate them.

When looking at the phrase "Some things are better left unsaid," we must establish what is meant by better. Generally, it's better in the sense that no-one gets offended, or that everything remains calm. Some people may be physically assaulted over just a few words. Indeed, there are numerous negative consequences that could transpire due to words being spoken. Conversely, what happens if we keep things bottled up inside of us? Brooding thoughts gnaw away at our consciousness. We become distracted from various activities because we cannot focus on anything but those pensive thoughts. Or, as I have learnt, we may erupt in a fit of rage, and spit out all of the things that we've been bottling up. Last of all, we are gifted with the right of free speech. It may be a cliched thing to say, but it's true nonetheless. We shouldn't hold back just because a few people might object.

Fundamentally, it is up to the individual to decide what he/she discloses and what he/she keeps bottled up. There are advantages and disadvantages to both choices.


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