Handicapping Public Diplomacy

Negotiating life often requires a sophisticated sense of diplomacy. Knowing what you want to convey in the way it is intended, through words and deeds, accepting that how it is all interpreted must, in the end, be left to each individual.

Then, a ringing in the ear and a vision in mind’s eye and the wisdom of Mom, in image, appears as she cooks a boiling pot of pasta, wiping her brow from the heat of the steam in a ground floor flat in Rome, looking out the window onto the street, “Don’t take life so seriously. It’s all about tact. You hear what others say, listen to what they do and see beyond what they intend. Then you tell them what they want to hear and everyone is happy.

I suppose politics, a private matter in a free society, entails compromises as in a parliamentary coalition or a two-party struggle between the appearance of adversarial positions. Personal attacks, a way of drawing attention to things more appropriate to the tabloids, unfortunately cater to the public fascination for rumor and all things representing the extreme range of personality in the hope of influencing choice.

Mom would say, “It’s all about power and greed. Everyone probably wants to know something to distract from the boredom of their own lives. So have an interesting life, asking ‘What’s wrong with the Enquirer? It helps pass the time at the checkout line of the supermarket.’

Of course there are also the memorable words she uttered when her son was off to the army, “Be careful where you put it!“.