The soft, warm fart of social acceptance

It’s lovely to hear the things we want to hear. We all love the platitudes that make us feel reassured and purposeful. The temptation is to surround ourselves with those that will reassure us and help confirm our undoubtedly righteous intentions. After all, nothing feels better than being right. Right?

But what if we aren’t?

And perhaps more importantly, what if we are neither right nor wrong, but could just be…..well, better?

Because growing and learning are about being willing to hear the voices that dissent and challenge. Success is built on the painful acceptance that we don’t always get things right. Confidence comes from the ability to face up to those who think differently and appreciate their views and opinion.

It’s easier to bathe in the relative comfort of the soft warm fart of social acceptance then to look in the cold hard mirror of critique and appraisal. And the world is full of the sycophants, the placaters and appeasers who will tell you and your organisation the very things you’ve just told them.

Having the confidence to embrace and engage with the voices that jar, the opinions that trouble and the thoughts that counter, is the sign of an organisation or person at peace with themselves.

Marginalisation, exclusion and avoidance are the sign of a closed ecosystem and a troubled mind. And whilst it won’t necessarily end in despair, it will always stop you being as good as you could possibly be and fulfilling your potential.

Seek the solace of platitudes, by all means, but you’ll always seek it at your peril.


  1. hrpotential · November 10, 2014

    I love your writing Neil. I’ve never been one for social acceptance, but I imagine to those in the midst it feels more like a warm hug. It only looks like a fart to those on the outside 🙂

    • Neil · November 22, 2014

      Completely, but I guess that is the importance of self awareness. Or smell. One of the two.

      PS. Thanks for the kind compliment!

  2. hrmannz · November 11, 2014

    I love a good fart post.

    • Neil · November 22, 2014

      Better out than in.

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