Beyond ‘looking good’ and avoiding ‘looking bad’: embracing the ‘dark side’

As human beings we are not individuals.  This probably occurs as shocking and offensive statement to many brought up in the USA and the UK.  For people brought up in other cultures like say Japan and even the Mediterranean countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece this statement is rather obvious.

In a nutshell each of us is living in, totally immersed, in a social content and as such we strive to ‘look good’ and avoid ‘looking bad’ in this particular context.  That goes for me too!  So whilst I want to be a wonderful (enlightened, considerate, generous, compassionate, kind) human being, it can be argued that I fail more than I succeed.  This was brought home to me recently when I received the following gift from my son:

PapaNow I can take that many ways.  I have chosen to see this as gift in two senses.  First, it bursts the bubble (I or anyone else may have about me) and thus encourages humility in me.  Second, it shows me the work that there is for me to do.  Specifically:

  • To check and not assume especially when things are difficult or not as I wish them to be;
  • To speak respectfully – at all times, under all circumstances, to all fellow human beings;
  • To avoid sarcasm – which is another way of saying ‘to treat my fellow human beings’ respectfully;
  • To keep giving hugs – which I love to do’ and
  • To spend more 1 to 1 time with my family members.

We all have a dark side. And it loses its hold over us if we accept that is the case, embrace it and work with it.  So I am going to give that a go.

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

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