Even though we were all raised to have good manners and abide by the 'if you can't say anything nice then you shouldn't say anything at all' rule, all of us also know that sometimes, whether we really want to or not, we have to enter into very difficult and sometimes extremely inconvenient conversations with people that may be seen as unwanted or unwelcome.
And that's where diplomacy kicks in, and you have to employ a gentle hand and not let your mouth shoot from the hip, hence 'it ain't what you say...it's the way that you say it.' And I find that you can say just about anything if you say it in the right way; and as long as you can remain sensitive to the other person's feelings whilst you're saying it, then you can usually get across an unwanted message without too many tears or tantrums. Mary Poppins was totally right, a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down and sometimes that extra dip of honey can make any difficult topic a little more palatable.
Nobody likes receiving a jagged little pill of truth, I know that I never enjoy the taste of my own poison, but god knows that sometimes I have needed people to be straight shooters with me and just tell me how it is. I have however, always appreciated it when negative or unpleasant news has been delivered to me with a sugar coating or at the very least an awareness attached to it that I can be a ridiculously sensitive creature and that things don't always roll off my back as easily as water off a ducks, and sometimes when people are short or curt with me, I can't stomach it.
I have always appreciated those that have offered me a gentle delivery, and over time it has helped me to employ a much gentler hand myself when dealing with difficult or unpleasant conversations or people. I'm not perfect at it yet, but I am gradually getting better at putting the emotions of others first whenever I have to enter into 'awkward truth' territory. I have found that by putting myself into another person's emotional reality, I can really harness my empathy and get 'on the level' during these tricky exchanges.
It is not okay to allow the people that you care about to act poorly or to treat you or others badly, it's actually quite neglectful to allow people that you care about to behave like assholes and go unchecked, but it is also extremely important to understand that these things do happen for a reason. People that are mean or insensitive are often the ones that are hurting the most, and I know this to be true becasue I usually only lash out when my personal pain is at its highest, which of course is not okay and sometimes I need to be gently reminded that it's not okay to wipe my bloodied palms all over others just because I fell over.
Even a tiger can be tamed with the right amount of attention and affection, and the same goes for everything and everyone else. You can have awkward conversations and engage with difficult people, but you do have to be willing to hear their pain and be open to offering compassion when you do. It's true, it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it....it's not what you say, it's the way that you say it...and that's what gets results. Who knew that such sage advice would ever spring from the lyrics of Bananarama and Fun Boy Three? Turns out that zen messages can come from places that you would never really expect them to!
Release Date: 2019
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 116 mins
A Chinese period drama directed by Zhang Yimou, better known for his work on House of Flying Daggers and Hero. This latest offering is a visual feast for the eyes that was inspired by Chinese ink brush paintings and the tai chi 'yin-yang' symbol. With a primarily gray scale and charcoal palette, the moody, inky scenes are only broken by small bursts of skin tone, blood splatter and candle flame; making it a truly gorgeous film to behold.
An injured and cunning military commander creates a 'shadow' or lookalike of himself that will offer him a chance to exact his revenge upon his old rivals and steal the throne from the current young and incompetent king.
Clever, engaging, fast paced and extremely pleasant to watch, Shadow packs a punch with its twists and turns and incredibly beautiful fighting sequences. This is definitely one of the best wuxia movies to have been made in a long while that visually stands in complete contrast to Yimou's previously brightly coloured offerings. It's an unmissable slice of Chinese cinema.
FINAL SAY: Some things don't have a right or wrong, what's done is done.
4.5 Chilli Peppers