Saving face or saving grace?

So often politeness is used as an excuse to be hurtful. I have subconsciously done it a handful of times but hope to never do it again. Politeness is a difficult art to master and only constructive if used correctly. Otherwise, it can be extremely destructive in such a subtle way.

To be polite means to show respect, yet so often we confuse genuine civility with putting on a front for personal gains. It takes strength to set aside your personal issues with someone in exchange for acknowledgment that everyone is facing challenges behind the scenes that we know nothing about. However, this is easily twisted into “saving face” and trying to make your ego look good in a situation that may be emotionally triggering.

Politeness is a social construct our society has developed in order to maintain peace and therefore be civilized. But this is such an illusion. A society that suppresses internal conflict in order to appear externally harmonious — is that true progress? The conflict is still there — it’s just hidden.

It’s no wonder that so many people are disillusioned — because nobody wants to speak the truth. Nobody wants to risk their ego for true soul growth. Nobody wants to look like the “bad guy” even though they know deep in their heart that they are doing the right thing.

When you are cleaning up a mess, you have to get dirty before you get clean. When you are organizing a space, you have to make a mess before you sort through it. If unpleasant things are coming to the surface then that’s when you know that the healing process has truly begun.

Respect is a complicated thing and it’s not as black-and-white as simply being polite. No, that’s more like putting a band-aid on a broken leg. Sticking up for yourself may not be socially acceptable, but if you are able to rise above your ego, then you experience soul growth and healing — for you, and also for everyone who surrounds you and absorbs your light.

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