Lipstick Building in Manhattan is famous for its architecture. It is a commercial office block which is now associated with capitalist greed, theft and lies. The history of the Lipstick Building is fascinating. I, however, have a new fascination with lipstick. Lipstick has given me a new insight into how to approach new business ventures.....as well as inter-personal relationships
My daughter, Noa Ariella, put on some lipstick, walked over to me, and asked:
'So, what do you think?’
With that kind of question, any man is bound to get into trouble with a lady. It's almost as risky a question to answer as the 'Do I look fat?' question.
But, in my continuing effort to be honest with my children, and teach them that there is good and bad in the world, ugly and beautiful in this world, good ideas and bad ideas in this world, I approached the lipstick idea the way we 'rational' thinkers usually approach things, when we want to be -what we usually call - ‘brutally honest’.
Brutal honesty is important. It should highlight pros and cons. It should be thought out. It should be mindful of whether something has potential, or not.
But, in most cases, ‘brutal honesty’ should be called ‘rational negativity’
I looked at her lips, with the lipstick, and I immediately had a view and an opinion on how the lipstick looked
I proceeded to say the following***:
“You can't be upset with what I'm gonna say about your lipstick. You asked for my opinion, and I'm gonna be honest regarding what I think about your lipstick. I have your best interests at heart, so you need to hear, what I believe, is right. And the truth may hurt. Being brutally honest means that you may have to go back to the bathroom and have a rethink about lipstick, your lips, and beauty. It means that you may still have lots of work do. It means you will have to challenge the underlying assumptions you have about lipstick and beauty. It means you must be willing to do a lot more work, and then, some re-work. So, do you really want me to be honest? Do you really want to know what I think about your lipstick?”
She said: “Yes”
I said………………. “I think your lipstick looks beautiful”
And I meant it
I could have used every rational argument to dismiss her good lipstick idea. I could have said:
“You asked my advice, and you may not like what I have to say. I think beauty-care and lipstick are good ideas. But, I have your best interests at heart. And because I care about you, I am going to be brutally honest with you. You should know, that using lipstick means you will get caught up in all the things that wearing lipstick and beauty-care require. And those things are tough to deal with. Those things are challenging. Those things are time consuming, require lots of energy…. and some money. So rather don’t wear lipstick.”
Following the lipstick encounter with this particular lady, I now prefer the approach:
“You asked my advice, and you may not like what I have to say. I think lipstick is a good idea. But, I have your best interests at heart. And beauty-care and lipstick are good ideas, but because I care about you, I am going to be brutally honest with you. You should know that using lipstick means you will get caught up in all the things that wearing lipstick and beauty-care require. And those things are tough to deal with. Those things are challenging. Those things are time consuming, require lots of energy…. and some money. So, on your path to beauty-care, be warned that there will be challenges. Beauty-care and lipstick are good ideas, and you have my full support in facing (intentional) those challenges”
***Not verbatim. Due to the fact that I am indeed a licensed poet, I used poetic license