Throwing Stones and Glass Houses<!-- --> | <!-- -->Assume Wisely
Throwing Stones and Glass Houses

Throwing Stones and Glass Houses

Posted: January 7, 2018

Last week Senator Rand Paul warned people living in glass houses to not throw stones dismissing criticism of Trump as being holier than thou. His justification, such criticism makes healthy discourse impossible.

That is an odd defense. The definition of healthy discourse is the ability to speak openly, even critically.

Contrast this with Spencer W Kimball, discussing his duty as a church leader to admonish others:

In writing about sin and repentance, no intent is implied that [I] or any of those quoted, except the Lord himself, is without fault. But we would not have much motivation to righteousness if all speakers and writers postponed discussing and warning until they themselves were perfected!

It's a juvenile belief that in order to have meaningful communication you cannot criticize. It is the antithesis of meaningful communication. In his seminal book, How to Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie offers this first principle, “Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.” Sounds like Senator Paul, doesn't it? Only if you stick to headlines. The ideal Carnegie goes on to teach is to be kind, thoughtful, and considerate of others. Show respect to get respect. This principle encourages empathy when talking to other people.

The adage Senator Paul used struck a chord for me: "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones." It's familiar. A less common but accurate meaning is: One who isn't open to criticism should not criticize. Senator Paul's takeaway: don't throw stones. President Kimball's takeaway: don't live in a glass house. Be open to criticism, or rather be mindful of your own imperfection.

I'd rather have Kimball on my team. I'd rather have someone who is mindful of their own faults while striving to better all of us. Throw stones . . . gently.

Git Sum (un)common sense,

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© 2018 · Rho Lall