Never insult anyone by accident. - Robert A. Heinlein
An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult. - Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
[Author Note: After this blog was posted, Ms. Buzreba abandoned her campaign. Here is her statement:
My post remains as a warning for other politicians who insist that their actions of the past are not a reflection of who they are in the present. I believe Ms. Buzreba did the honorable thing which in fact IS an example of positive character. Now … if only Hillary Clinton ……
So as you read this post, think about other politicians instead of Ms. Buzreba. Perhaps they could learn something from her graceful exit.]
The original blog post continues ……
The political world has become all abuzz once again as another political wannabe, Calgary-Nosehill Liberal candidate Ala Buzreba, sees her social media past become, unfortunately, her present as Alberta NDP MLA Deborah Drever experienced shortly after being elected.
It seems that Ms. Buzreba, in a life that has clearly prepared her for public service, has previously graced the Twitter world with beautiful gems such as:
And of course, the ever so poetic, so intellectual, so mature ….
Unfortunately, such words become politically inconvenient when running for office so Ms. Buzreba felt obliged today to issue an apology that included these tweets:
Ah yes – the classic politician who wears the Teflon suit of convenient misdirection, revisionism and amnesia with a touch of mass hypnosis sprinkled in …. “you will forget what you have seen here”.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Jedi mind tricks only work on the weak-minded – it all depends on how many weak-minded people are present at the time.
When one makes comments that are crass, immature or insulting and they make headlines once discovered, it doesn’t become “a lesson in social media” as she dismisses her comments.
It is a statement about her character, since social media doesn’t change our character, it reveals it.
As for the tweets not reflecting her views, everything I think, speak and write are a reflection of my views and yet she somehow thinks that we can be convinced that what she says doesn’t represent how she thinks?
Perhaps this suggests that she in fact will be the perfect politician since we rarely receive from politicians what they tell us we will should we elect them. Her training is complete.
And while she can dismiss the ranting of her 17-20 year old self as being from someone who wasn’t as mature as she is now, I know that when I was 20 years old, I knew the difference between being respectful and not.
The reality is that the foundation of her character appears to have a malfunction in it but she, like many politicians, think that it is fair territory to insult or degrade and to dismiss it with a perfunctory apology whenever convenient (translation: whenever caught).
We are taught that everyone makes mistakes and so we should forgive everyone when they offer an apology and beg for forgiveness.
Unfortunately, too many times this becomes a useful, strategic weapon of choice for the bully and the ignorant, since the convenient apology always stands at the ready after the damage has been inflicted upon a person or an organization.
Imagine if I insulted her gender, her faith or anything else about her and having inflicted an unethical, immoral or illegal barb, I retracted the statement saying I was merely having a bad day.
Imagine if we all lived this way.
The difficulty here is that what we don’t condemn today, we accept tomorrow …..
….. and what we accept today, we embrace tomorrow.
If you find such perfunctory apologies acceptable, send me an email. I will have someone arrange to have you or someone that matters to you incessantly insulted on a personal level so that you can see what such a society will eventually look like.
Perhaps if we didn’t forgive and forget so easily those who mistakes are more character flaws with intentional acts of malice behind them rather than simple accidents, people would be forced to think more before they speak or act.
And besides, we need stronger character in our leaders and politicians … not weaker.
The Bottom Line
Character is not something that is suddenly put on like a new jacket or suddenly discovered in a revelation when someone discovers something nasty in our past.
It is a seed that is planted early, nurtured carefully over the years and is revealed when we are called upon to be at our best, especially during times when we face our deepest, most daunting, challenges.
And in such situations, what we say and do provide insight into who we are, sometimes to our chagrin.
While we can choose to ignore the warning signs of flawed character in ourselves and others, we can’t ignore the results produced by that flawed character.
By the way, I’m sorry for calling you stupid. I asked someone for a second opinion and they said you were ugly too (thanks, Rodney Dangerfield).
Actually I don’t think you are either ….. and I stand by everything I say.
Do you forgive me?
More importantly …..
Do you stand by everything you say and do and does it reflect who you are?
Do you care about the consistency of what others say and do as a reflection of their character?
Does it matter?
Should you care?
How do you know?
In service and servanthood,