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How to be Politically Inept this Christmas

Dec 12, 2007
There, now it's out there; the "C" word, Christmas. Somehow it's become politically incorrect to wish others Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or anything that suggests a belief system. Well, I've decided to forgo political correctness at the risk of being labeled "politically inept" this holiday season.

Be Different in December
I choose to celebrate in December because Christmas is in it. You may celebrate in December for a different reason. I not only respect but cherish that diversity among us. Yet that diversity is discounted and stripped away from us when the Politically Correct (P.C.) Police force all to be the same by restricting us to Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings. Can we Americans afford any more loss of our identities? Can we afford to lose the meanings behind our traditions, actions and feelings?

The advent and proliferation of social media encourage us to "live in the open." Tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube enable us to share what makes us human. In theory, our humanity should make us more desirable as a business associate. When you defy the P.C. Police and offer a greeting with more flavor than Seasons Greetings, we learn you are a person of character and courage as well as spirited and thoughtful. Much is shared in less than 2 seconds!

Speak Your Peace of Mind
We're entitled to all speak our own "language" of the season. Consider that, as an example, if one of us speaks Spanish, another French and the third Italian, none of us can be accused of being wrong. Background, upbringing and, sometimes, life choices enable each of us to express ourselves in a preferred way. I prefer to offer Merry Christmas because it has meaning in its language that I understand best and represents the best expression I've got to give. The P.C. Police stand ready to chastise us for choosing the "wrong" form of expression. I'm giving others a gift of my heartfelt wishes; Merry Christmas enables me to present those wishes with the clearest and strongest meaning I know. By watering the message down to Happy Holidays, I feel like I'm cheating you, giving you less than the best I have to offer.

I can accept that not everyone will be happy with my gift of Merry Christmas. Some will take offense, but that's because they choose to be offended. They're so concerned with their own selfish perspective of the way things ought to be, they can't see my gift for what it is. Let's face it; some people are looking for reasons to be offended.

Give Your Gift Any Way
You must be willing to get into trouble now and then if you're ever going to be comfortable using your preferred greeting at every opportunity. When you occasionally find someone who takes exception, is offended and won't accept your gift, don't blame yourself for their problem. I refuse to walk on eggshells because someone might want to pick a fight over my choice of words. Saying Merry Christmas doesn't mean I'm pushing religion; I don't expect anyone will convert to Christianity because I offered them a Merry Christmas!

I encourage you to join The League of the Politically Inept and give your greeting gifts at every opportunity during December. I'm convinced most people appreciate it, and your encouragement emboldens them to do the same. When December is over the politically inept will have had a lot more fun than the politically correct. Don't forget the reason you celebrate this season, and continue to be generous with your gift of your favorite greeting.

Copyright 2007 Paul Johnson
About the Author
Paul Johnson the Trouble Breaker is a keynote speaker who works with organizations to convert trouble into double and triple digit performance breakthroughs. Discover breakthrough concepts at http://ShortcutsToResults.com. Visit http://TroubleBreaker.com for presentations on performance improvement.
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