A Good Rule.

I will speak ill of no man. ~ There are some men I will not speak of.

One of the things I love about old westerns is the strong, silent, guys who live by their own internal honor code. They believe in the rules they've set for themselves (at least in the romantic notions of the silver screen). Grudges were settled man to man and gossip was left to others. If you had something against a man you took it up with him. If he broke the code the choice was made not to speak of him rather than whimper and whine to others about the experience.

All of us have rules that guide us in business and life. Some we keep and some we break. With the best intentions we each try, at some point in our lives, to set our own moral compass and let it direct us. In business we become aware of bad products, experiences, actions and indeed people. The internet provides a ready made platform and a megaphone to unveil and broadcast our disagreements, disgust or displeasure with people, products, companies and experiences all over the world. That's a very good thing ~ it drives accountability.

But what about when opinion turns to ridicule? What about when we personalize disagreements to the point of attacking another person? What happens to us when we choose to denigrate others in order to raise our own profile? Does knocking the character or performance of another improve our own? It seems to me that whether you're a politician, salesman, comedian, artist or businessperson ~ ridicule demeans the speaker much more than the recipient. Whether we're talking about friend or foe ~ Jefferson had it right when he said:

"Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody".

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