Lifestyle Column: Discretion’s Vanishing Value
Chandia Brennen is an alumnus of Florida A&M University, and is the Fashion and Beauty Director for Hope for Women Magazine. She blogs regularly at ItsGood2BDia.blogspot.com
Tweets that provide FULL details of a breakup, Facebook status updates that reveal problems within a work place, and pictures from negligent parents that fill the 9pm slot on Nancy Grace. In a society where freedom of speech is honored and self expression is respected, do we still exercise discretion?
The social media world has become a 24hr therapist for a lot of people that find solace in exposing their thoughts; with problems aired and discretion compromised in 140 characters or less. As I scrolled through my social media pages recently, I saw various status updates that openly exposed things of a very personal nature. I decided that I needed to sign off and take a brief hiatus to avoid becoming that person.
For a few days I allowed myself to process various thoughts that were consuming my mind…alone. All it takes is a lapse of emotional judgment to vitally impair your personal future. Our thoughts are the most precious things that we have as individuals; slaves use to say that their thoughts of freedom kept their spirit alive. We are often far too eager to “express” ourselves without realizing the severity of openly allowing others into our most sacred place…our mind.
We live in an “anything goes” society where people say and do many things without immediate consequences, but the missing link is without a doubt, discretion. We have become so accustomed to individuals lacking sound judgment that we are somehow immune to the behavior. It’s like walking into a home that smells like cooked food; initially the odor proves to be overwhelming, but after time spent indoors you no longer smell the scent. As a society we are no longer shocked when we see Lady Gaga wearing foil because we’ve already seen Madonna wearing saran wrap.
Diversity in personalities is what makes this world a beautiful place, but lacking sound judgment could instead open the door to ridicule and make you one Google search away from self-destruction.
A few years back, a popular video vixen released a jaw dropping “tell all” book that revealed her various affairs with popular actors, rappers, athletes and journalists. The young woman provided detailed accounts of her experiences with the public figures; as well as the homes, cars and vacations that were awarded to her. The vixen spared no feelings and deliberately attacked the character of the “respected” individuals in her book. The book leaped to the top of the best sellers list and the young vixen landed the coveted spot sitting next to Oprah while revealing her life story. Although she exercised a lack of judgment involving her various indiscretions, she was able to obtain (albeit short-lived) success.
Months later, the young woman received backlash from the media as well as SERIOUS death threats from the parties involved. She was affected by her indiscretion, as were the families affiliated with the men. One of the wives happened to be in the hospital fighting her battle with cancer when her husband’s name surfaced in the book. Instead of the family having those tender moments they were instead affected with additional pain.
In life, it is important to NOT always give into the temptation of speaking what’s on your mind, or quickly reacting in haste while consumed in emotion. Scripture says: “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety and your foot will not stumble.”- Proverbs 3:21. This reinforces the importance of sound judgment and discretion in avoiding detrimental situations.
Take a moment to evaluate whether you are exercising both elements in your daily life; that moment could prevent heartbreak, hostility, diseases or personal demise.
Like they say…Less is more.