What Does “Tough Vetting” Look Like?
For as long as I can recall, a very wise woman (whom I call, “Mama”) has shared words of wisdom with me about learning who to identify as “Friend” and who to identify as “Enemy.” These wise words were generally wrapped up in conversations about habitual behavior.
Common Sense Words of Wisdom
The impartation of her words of wisdom usually went something like this:
“Not everyone is going to like you. It’s okay. Watch to see if the same person doesn’t like a lot of others. All of that is not about you” (1st Grade).
“You need to decide who you call your friends by watching how others regularly treat a lot of other people. Don’t become friends with people who are mean toward a lot of others” (2nd Grade).
“You will not have many friends if you hate people behind their backs (and talk about it in secret with the people you believe are your friends)” (4th Grade).
As we moved a little further into common sense kind-of-thinking, Mama’s words became more detailed:
“You should observe who is talking negatively about others behind backs while being falsely kind to their faces; it’s called backstabbing. Consider choosing to NOT trust a backstabber” (8th Grade).
“Yes, it is true that people who continually criticize and disrespect others (based on things like, beliefs, skin color, and choices in life) will not be able to hide their hatred forever. Eventually, their hatred will come out in their words or show forth through their actions” (10th Grade).
Clearly into the younger years of adulthood, Mama’s words began to include real heart meaning and application:
“You will probably enjoy long-term friendship and a life-time of trustworthy behavior with a handful of people from your school days. You’ll probably notice your long-term friends will be those people who consistently had your best interests at heart. Those are your true friends in this life” (High School Graduation).
“Over time, you’ll observe that the people who were habitual backstabbers in school are the same kind of people who will try to “kill you off” (along with others they dislike) in your different jobs, group efforts, and life interactions. Their backstabbing ways seek to remove others from their presence, while they seek to assume the positions of authority and recognition others hold. It’s an age-old human dynamic among disrespectful people. They cannot abide with others in peace” (College years).
“Don’t be so politically-correct that you lose your common sense for observing the repeated behavior (especially disrespectful behavior) of those around you. Always remember that disrespectful behavior can be from a person or from a group of like-minded people. Oh, and something else: politically-correct thinking is what is also called, “stupidity”* (Big People Life years, and beyond). *1
Fast-forward to 2016: a well-known public figure recently said that she supports “strong vetting” of some people among the many, who do not have the best interest of the many at the heart of their behavior. She went on to clarify her process of tough vetting by saying, “Let us be vigilant, but not afraid.” 2
Somewhere in the 35 to 47 years since the very wise woman in my life shared the list of wise words with me, something has gone terribly amiss with the meaning and application of the words, “wise”, “stupid”, “vetting”, “vigilant”, and “unafraid!”
What’s the Meaning of This Vetting Thing?
According to Mr. Google, himself, the for-real meaning of “vetting” is:
What’s the Application of This Vetting Thing?
When I quickly review the list of wise words my Mama shared with me from 1st grade through my college years, I clearly see the application of the word “vetting” all wrapped up in her advice.
Essentially, the application of “vetting” is: being all up in the face of habitually disrespectful behavior by clearly and calmly identifying repeated behavioral characteristics, like:
“Not liking” other people as a habit and way of life.
That was a Kindergarten lesson learned.
Regularly displaying divisive behavior (especially disrespectful) toward a lot of other people.
That was a 2nd grade lesson learned.
Secretly hating other people and talking about it privately to the few people believed to be friends (who are in the same circle of like-minded beliefs).
That was a 4th grade lesson learned.
Talking negatively about others in secret while behaving kindly to their faces — behaving as a Backstabber.
That was an 8th grade lesson learned.
Continually criticizing and disrespecting others who believe and choose differently from oneself, or who are different from oneself.
That was a 10th grade lesson learned.
Habitually behaving in disloyal and untrustworthy ways, lending to behavior that does not have the best interest of others at the heart of one’s motives.
That was a lesson learned by High School graduation.
Having a pattern of “killing people off” (figuratively or literally) in order to assume the positions of authority and recognition. It’s the ultimate inability to abide with others in peace.
That was a lesson learned during the college years.
Trading in the use of common sense (simply observing the behavior of others) in exchange for stupidity (thinking and behaving in a politically-correct way — to please others and fit into society’s way of thinking and behaving).
That was a lesson learned in the Big People Life years, and beyond.
In other words, when the process of vetting takes place under the mask of charades called politically-correct thinking, well, one has moved into the behavior of stupidity — with all of the resulting stupid and dangerous outcomes.
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Let’s Revisit Grade School Thinking
Do you remember the days (long ago) before the phrase, “vetting people” became a political word used in the context of one who is behaving politically-correct? In those olden days, the collective majority of people, who used thought processes that included common sense, referred to the vetting process like this: simply observing the clear, habitual, disrespectful behavior of certain individuals, and acting decisively, accordingly, and appropriately to remove them from the circle of influence, or from the opportunity to harm others.
If this majority of people had Mama’s who imparted words of wisdom into their lives (or others who taught them rightly), the powers of one’s common sense generally translated into the removal of habitually disrespectful and dangerous people from the circle of influence.
In this way, there could be an opportunity for true peace and safety for the majority within day-to-day life.
Wrapping Up This “Tough Vetting” Thing
Imagine this: what if we could go back to applying the age-old common sense wisdom of Mama (or others who taught rightly) to decision making and leadership?
In a return to the more sane side of life: what if we could admit that politically-correct thinking about the process of vetting has completely screwed up the common sense observational abilities of those in decision making positions of authority and leadership?
Here’s a little common sense observational guideline: when the same individual, or like-minded group of individuals, continue to wreck complete havoc among the majority of people — it’s okay to call their behavior what it is: Wrong. Dangerous. Not conducive to peace and safety.
Guess What? The habitually wrong, dangerous, disruptive, and unsafe behaving people among us need “tough vetting”.
By the way, “tough” simply means:
Strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough or careless handling; involving considerable difficulty or hardship; requiring great determination or effort (used as an adjective describing something, someone, or a process). 1
To endure a period of hardship or difficulty (used as a verb describing the actions of someone).1
Just to clarify: I do believe the “tough” part of the phrase “tough vetting” applies to decision makers and leaders; not to the wrong, dangerous, disruptive, and unsafe behaving people among us!
Maybe it’s time to go back to the simplicity of the wise words of Mama in deciding who is for us, who is against us, and who is most likely to kill off the majority if we continue allowing them the opportunities to do so. It’s just the application of a little common sense.
Maybe it’s time to observe and consider the simple commonalities (like, beliefs, skin color, and choices in life) among those who want to kill off others (figuratively or literally). It’s just the application of a little common sense.
Maybe it’s time to be swiftly vigilant and fearlessly unafraid — you know, tough vetting in action (as opposed to fearfully using convoluted, politically-correct words to discuss the elephant in the living room). It’s just the application of a little common sense.
Of course, all of these words of wisdom simply apply to decision making and leadership — in whatever area of life one may choose to apply them. No offense intended toward anyone, or any group of people, whose behavior is wrong, dangerous, disruptive, or unsafe toward others — or politically-correct.
1 Vetting. Google. Retrieved September 19, 2016
2 Fox News Politics Online. September 19, 2016. Trump calls for confronting ‘cancer from within’ amidst terror attacks. Retrieved September 19, 2016