Forthright Authenticity

She said ‘No rules in our house
So long as they’re not broke’.
Another said that she could talk
So long as she not joke.

His town spoke indirectly
And never face-to-face;
Another told him ‘pull your punch
Or be held in disgrace’.

He said, ‘some talk like cream soup –
All blended, though sincere;
While others speak like stir-fried food –
Each concept crystal clear’.

Some folks control their feelings
Don’t let emotions out;
While others shout and wave their arms
Their feelings not in doubt.

One boy is always curious
To know how something works;
His sister likes to set folks straight
While viewing them as jerks.

Some soak up information
Through touch and sound and sight;
For others intuition is
Their instrument of might.

All people think things over
Like cud the cattle chew;
Some think about things logically
While others feel them through.

Some like to eat ideas
Insatiable for new;
While others like to cogitate
And hone their point of view.

Some folks like being with people
From them they get a boost;
While others like to be alone
As brooder-hen in roost.

Then when it comes to action
Some flow from start to end;
While others like to priorize
Thus random-pattern blend.

Deciding’s part of living
Though some would wish it not,
They tiptoe cautiously through choice
Each path with dangers fraught;

While others choose forthrightly
It does not help to think,
They are both fast and accurate –
Take action in a blink.

Each preference comes from nature
And culture’s nurture too;
The conflict comes when others hold
Contrary points of view.

So rules and affect-stripping
Or patterns of our speech
As set by groups with whom we live
May well exceed our reach.

Up north there’s no convention
And also ’cross the tracks
Except ‘in unity reflect
Your thought, in speech and acts’.

No mercy’s shown to others
When dissonance is found –
Between one’s in and outer worlds
‘Integrity’ resounds.

A problem’s there however –
The standards are so low;
Consolidation’s premature;
Incentives few to grow.

When Christ said ‘in my footsteps
A life of vision make’
He meant not ‘walk on tippy-toes
Lest eggshells you should break’.

But rather, walk forthrightly
With errors, even sin,
Forgiveness from yourselves and God
Lets zestful living in.

That’s not to drop the standards
Or wave integrity;
It’s just to cut some slack to learn
And grow in liberty.