A few years ago we were watching a netflix movie with our mom and dad and, and we stopped it, minutes into it.

It had great reviews, it was funny, it had A list decent classic actors that we liked …but it was crass. The sexual allusions, the cheap fun they made, the putting down the other sex. It was not redeeming. And it was embarrassing. We get desensitized, and we keep expecting someone else to filter and choose for us what is appropriate and what is not. We are better than that. We don’t have to “take it” just because nobody else is saying anything. We are not sheep. If I have to avert my eyes, and occasionally plug my ears during a movie, watching it in the first place was a bad idea. I am talking about daytime shows and PG 13. I guess we all have to return to reading books full time for entertainment.

I avoid being “that guy” who has a strong opinion about everything. Probably because I don’t like that guy. Most of the time, I don’t care about his opinion, but occasionally I envy his courage to speak up.

Have you ever been in a social situation where jokes degenerate, or somebody starts gossiping… and nobody has the courage to say something.

As a manager, if I started to feel uncomfortable, I had to step in with clarity and discretion. Most often I only had so say “hey” or “let’s change the subject” without apologies. And it was great, because people were in tune not clueless. It was my responsibility to make sure the environment of my team was safe and work appropriate. It rarely happened. Because it was addressed timely, fairly and professionally.

It was never done to put anyone down. As it should never be in whatever the context. But as with everything, things can degenerate. As it is easy to slide down the gossip toboggan. Because before you catch yourself, you had already participated, you listened, you contributed…

So how about keeping our senses in tune, and speak courageously with integrity in whatever the context.