Literature often holds a mirror to the real world - and movies and television shows are an extension of those. As such, they can hold a grimy, dark mirror; a gilded, hazy mirror, or even a fun-house mirror of the world up for us to look at.
Science fiction, especially, can hold a double image up as a mirror - an aspirational future, a dark future, a conflicted future; and the truth now, if you have the perspective to see it.
I love Star Trek: Picard for too many reasons to list here, but I’m thinking today about The Way of Absolute Candor of the Qowat Milat.
“The Way of Absolute Candor was the primary teaching of the Qowat Milat , an order of Romulan warrior nuns. It emphasized the total communication of emotion without filter between thought and word, resulting in the Qowat Milat being blunt and direct in conversation. The concept ran counter to everything that Romulans normally held dear.”
I’m also thinking, today, about an important discussion posted to FB by Reina Lin begun by Marco Rogers, @polotek onTwitter, had regarding how “white people don’t have the concept of “real conversations” - we “can’t stop saying the diplomatic thing and tell people what’s really going on”, and it’s what causes Black people to feel that they can’t “form real trust relationships with white people”, because we can’t handle the truth.
I don’t want to talk over his excellent points, but I want to say that some neurodiverse people also have difficulty with the “rituals” in which white (NT) people “decide” what’s going on. This lack of candor can harm neurodiverse people’s ability to navigate these spaces, as well.
Again, I want to draw a parallel line with his argument, because this lack of candor harms a lot of people, and learning candor will need to happen for true Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.
Another Twitter user, Laura Bridgewater, @knit1write2, aptly points out that “WASPs never discuss anything directly, but they’ll come at you sideways with a glass knife.”
As an undiagnosed ADHD adult trying to navigate the working world, I probably swung between candor and saying completely the wrong thing plenty, and I learned to overcompensate as an Avoider and a Pleaser now. I have, unfortunately, leaned into the passive-aggressive side. I MUST unlearn this.
@SerenissimaL’Azzura brings up that “white women are tasked with sensing that “real talk” might be on the horizon, and “smoothing things over” to keep that from happening. Many of us have internalized the notion that we are responsible for other arguing to the point that we cry when we are unable to keep the peace. It’s out of a genuine and completely misplaced sense of failure, but it also serves the purpose of redirecting peoples’ from whatever they were “fighting” about. This is also know as “White women’s tears”. We need to stop it.”
Lisa Delpit’s work “Other People’s Children” on how “WASP teachers routinely demonize Black children by misinterpreting direct language as verbal assault and how black kids routinely can not get the clarity of communication they need from white staff. This is an issue of institutionalized racism that is central to the school to prison pipeline.” ([Treebyleaf McCurdy] brought this up).
In looking for more information on how to do this, I found Radical Candor: “Radical Candor is Caring Personally and Challenging Directly, Not Brutal Honesty”
I need to learn radical candor now, to ensure that I don’t hold the truth back, and that I allow fruitful conversations to occur so everyone can be successful. I don’t expect this to be easy, but I would love others to join me.
I am overwhelmed, I am tired, but I am determined. My children deserve to enjoy the benefits of our ADHD gifts, and so do I.