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Moving past political correctness

The Barack Obama that the world fell in love with, is back. I was moved by his eulogy for Clementa Pinckney today. It was natural, sincere and he spoke with conviction. At times, over the last few years, I wondered where the real Barak Obama had gone. The Obama that had transfixed the world in 2008. It’s a sad reflection of the political system that he is finally able to say the things he should have said in the last year of his presidency- when he does not have to concern himself with re-election.

The late, lamented Lee Kuan Yew got it right – he famously said ” I say what’s correct, not politically correct”. Most politicians these days are so concerned about being polically correct that everything they say becomes meaningless, offends no-one, pleases no-one. How much better it is to speak with conviction, say the things that are hard to say, so that things can be fixed, so that we can make things better.

And this works for us lesser mortals too. I come across so many managers who give feedback that is so diluted by political correctness that the message is lost. Friends who will let you make a mistake because they did not wanting to risk offending you. Sometimes, honesty is the ONLY way. Honesty tempered with kindness, honesty tempered with a sincere desire to make things better, to allow you to be your best self

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