“If you can’t say anything nice…”

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

I call bullshit. What is so great about being NICE? Did we learn nothing from the witch (as sung by Bernadette…not Vanessa or Victoria) in INTO THE WOODS.

“You’re so nice.
You’re not good,
You’re not bad,
You’re just nice.
I’m not good,
I’m not nice,
I’m just right.
I’m the Witch.
You’re the world.

I’m the hitch.
I’m what no one believes,
I’m the Witch.
You’re all liars and theives,
Like his father,
Like his son will be, too-
Oh, why bother?
You’ll just do what you do.”

Could Stephen Sondheim have gotten it more right? If your mind isn’t blown by that lyrical truth-telling, I’m worried for humanity. Being nice might ensure that you have lots of “friends” but being honest will ensure that you have the right friends.

Please, everyone. Tell your truth. Tell it freely. Encourage others to do so. When someone tells you to “hush” continue to tell your truth. Silencing opinions that are contrary to an agenda is a tired old maneuver. Politicians and parents have been using it for years.

Lest you think that I am promoting slander and hate-spewing, here are some things I think we should all be aware of when speaking our truth…

  1. If you wouldn’t say it in public, don’t say it online. Have the courage of your convictions. I once got into a Facebook word fight with a casting director who took offense to something I said about Sutton Foster. Believe me when I say that I would have said it in public and I would have said it to Sutton Foster herself if she had asked me what I thought about her performance.
  2. Ask yourself if you are speaking from an honest place. Are you speaking out of jealousy? Not that jealousy doesn’t deserve a voice but maybe that voice should only be heard in your own home. I’d hate you to lose your street-cred because of an emotional outburst.
  3. Truth-tellers don’t  get to worry about consequences.
  4. Be open to discussion. People are going to want to argue with you. Welcome the discourse. We can all learn from each other.
  5. Serve praise with as much fervor as you dole out your disdain.
  6. Feel free to ignore 1-5 because I pretty much believe in your right to say whatever you want. The good, the bad, the honest, the jealous, the hateful.

When did “positivity” became the most acceptable outlook? When did having a negative opinion of something become a negative thing? You can work within the current belief system or you can build your own and start to change the game. Having a different opinion is ok. Supporting that opinion with fact, experience, and passion is even better. Engage. Discuss. Learn.

I’d rather right than nice.

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