I recently finished reading a book which I found profound and insightful, “The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz.
Of course there are innumerable books on human understanding, self-help and boisterous guides and DVD’s on becoming a better you. I’ve read several and there are good and wise words in many, however I find myself continually seeking practical solutions for everyday living which I either don’t get from these texts or unable to apply in my life.
Then along comes this book, which I must admit, the 4 topics of focus are things I’ve heard one way or another before. Perhaps this time, I get it because of the way he explains. Here are the topics he writes on and then explains in examples.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
These all seem simple enough until you try to apply them. I’m going to use this as a structure to examine a current event of which some people are familiar. For others not aware of Jeremy Clarkson as a presenter for the BBC program “Top Gear“, or are unaware of the use of political correctness in society, I suggest you skip the rest of my post and click on this link for an explanation of The Four Agreements.
Being offended is practically a national past time for a lot of people. I routinely read or hear how this person is a racist or homophobic because of what they said. It’s usually a charge pronounced against someone who has notoriety or to dismiss someone’s point of view that another disagrees. Of course it’s a special dividend when this verbal offense can be litigated for significant sums of money as in the case for Clarkson and the BBC.
Clarkson may have grown out of short pants, but he still speaks as though a school boy, thinking everything he says is clever even if it sounds stupid. This is part of what attracts viewing audience to the Top Gear automotive review program as part of his normal prevarication. I can only imagine how far he may stray with his unfiltered mouth after intoxication.
Is Clarkson clever? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. He throws out lines of thought without considering who might be sensitive receptors. You can witness repeated topics or names are used because he has special disdain for anyone connected with said topic.
Here’s why he’s still around.
✔ – He’s a big lout that does have a sense of humor.
✔ – He’s not boring, clever enough to attract a large audience.
✔ – He’s a train wreck in motion and people seem to be attracted to this as much as their tabloid news.
The thing that prompts his lack of sensitivity is the reaction he gets when he pokes fun at people or their beliefs. Mel Brooks produced a movie called, “Blazing Saddles“, which probably couldn’t be made now, but expressly used almost every pejorative he knew to illustrate the stupidity of racism, bigotry and hatred for others. The society around Clarkson has changed into complainers who have managed to use the law and courts to censor people like him. It’s as if they can create a magical world of everyone holding hands and singing “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing . . “, while ignoring very serious societal problems of far greater magnitude.
I understand people want everyone to be treated fairly, but the truth is, people think whatever they want in spite of someone else and if we want to mature as a society we need to expect people will say things without our consideration. Perhaps its time we get on with our business and stop worrying what the Clarkson’s of the world say or think, because in the end it shouldn’t matter.
Miguel Ruiz states it better; “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.”
Example of his non-sensitive nature humor:
Jeremy Clarkson Twitter @JeremyClarkson
“I’m not a racist. I am currently sitting in a bar with a man who lives quite near Wales.”