Everyone seems to be using the term ” privilege ” these days. It has become a shuttlecock to be batted about during political badminton games of all sorts. I am horribly glad I do not live in academia as I am sure that it would be thrown at me daily.
But I am delighted to be able to say that I do enjoy a privilege in retirement that I probably never thought about whilst employed – the privilege of telling the truth.
Honesty is not a privilege, we read. It is a basic requirement of civil life -a cornerstone of philosophy and religion – a basic tenet of everything from the Boy Scouts to Buddhism.
Bullshit. The same people who brate for honesty press religious myth and political expediency upon us just as hard, and have shaved, whittled, and lubricated honesty to fit their own mechanisms. Diogenes might just as well be going around with a pocket LED torch…
Honesty from a politician or lawyer is like gold, or platinum, or diamonds…all the more valuable for the rarity. In a business figure, whether low or high in a company, it is also a variable virtue. In the digital age it might even be a virtual virtue – if it disappears you have to boot up the businessman again. Now I could get into that.
A retired person has little value in business – or to business. Their influence thereby diminishes, and by the time most people retire they have learned to avoid the law anyway. So they are suddenly free to indulge themselves in honesty. Indeed it can become either their most endearing or most fearsome feature. With a little planning and foresight, the retiree can decide the exact mixture of these two qualities and apply it where needed.
In our next installment of the retirement scoreboard I’ll show you how to become the honest darling of the neighbourhood*.
*Pick your neighbourhood wisely…