Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shutting the F*ck Up; The General McChrystal Story

We’ve all done it…spoken out of turn. Whether it was to our parents, our teachers or our bosses, at one time or another we’ve stepped out of line and said something – anything – at the wrong time or worse even, to the wrong person. General Stanley Allen McChrystal is the highest ranking soldier in Afghanistan (the Commander, International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, to be exact). In the Runaway General, an article to appear in the June 25th edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Gen McChrystal mouths off to the reporter about his feelings about his commander-in-chief, President Obama, calling a French dinner they attended to recruit support from our NATO allies, “fucking gay.” He doesn’t mince his words…talk about going rogue. What struck me as odd was that a man who prides himself as a loyal soldier type could disrespect the leader of the free world and his boss by speaking ill of him – to a reporter no less. I questioned whether McChrystal chanced it because Obama was new to the game or because he’s dealing with our first Black President; the reasoning is moot. The utter ignorance of his comments will likely cost him his job – and there was more to the article than just the French diplomat dinner comments; this fool berated the Vice President and other high ranking officials. Which brings us back to the real issue…learning when to shut the f*ck up. Why the expletive you ask? It’s necessary to use the expletive to highlight the sheer curt need to be silent in the midst of adversity, discord, disagreement or dissent. You don’t have to agree with your parents, your teachers or your bosses, but you need to respect the position. Know when it’s a good time to hold your tongue. It isn’t a sign of weakness…it isn’t a show of cowardice. As we mature we can ascertain a situation, draw our conclusions and hold the conclusions for the appropriate venue or stage. Whether you’re right or wrong is not important, but WHEN and to WHOM you choose to run your mouth can make the difference between having folks admire your stoic patience and wisdom and standing disgraced and defeated on the unemployment line.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

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