Today I happened to read Garth Turner's blog. In particular, I read his opinion on Harper's choice of Emerson and the subsequent fallout from what he said on his blog.
To be frank, I was surprised at what I read. While I certainly understand and appreciate Mr. Turner's frustrations surrounding the Emerson debacle, I am not so certain I agree with his venting on his blog. It struck me as behaviour unbecoming to a politician. Eventhough he was right, what he had to say lacked wisdom, tact and maturity.
Now, I vent all the time. I whine about whatever issue strikes my fancy and occasionally something good makes its way into my posts. However, I am no one. I don't work for the government. I don't represent a group of people in government. I don't have to care about what people think about my views and I don't have to be tactful or worry about offending people (eventhough I probably should).
Mr. Turner does not have this luxury.
He is now in the public eye all the time.
Allow me to provide you with an illustration. Roughly around the time I got married, I was having some significant problems where I worked. I won't go into all the gory details, but eventually things degenerated to the point where I had to quit. One day, to vent my frustrations, I decided to blog about the issues I was having. I covered up my hurt with humor and just went to town on some of the people I didn't like.
Then my husband happened to read it. He made the rather wise observation that eventhough I had used no names, if someone that I worked with were to read it, it could make my problems at work even worse. Better to come home and vent to him in private.
What Mr. Turner has done on his blog is similar. He vented, forgetting that the people that he works with can easily read his blog any time they like. This can make (and I would daresay has already made) for unnecessarily awkward situations in the workplace. To make matters worse, Mr. Turner works for the government. As I said, he is in the public eye. He is supposed to be able to bring the concerns of his constituents to the table. By making a bad situation worse, he may have shut out not only himself but all of his constituents from the political process. It's not right, it's not best, but it may happen.
Sometimes, no matter how bad a situation may be, no matter how strong your opinions are on a subject, it is wiser to say nothing outloud. It is better to go home and vent in private to your spouse. If you cannot do that, at least go to an anonymous place like iworkwithfools.com and vent undercover where no one knows who you are.
There is a certain wisdom to keeping your mouth shut in the face of a difficult situation. Being right is not always best. Sometimes it is better to take the hurt and simply move on. When you are an opinionated like me, it can be hard to keep your mouth closed. However, it is a skill that I think everyone should have and one that I am trying to develop. Maybe I'll have it down to a fine art by the time I hit 70.