Friday, 21 June 2019


In the Guardian recently I read a wonderful example of chutzpah (pronounced as a short 'hoots' like 'puts', and a long 'pa' like a [beauty] 'spa'): "a child who kills the parents and then begs the mercy of the court because now he’s an orphan" (Hern, 16 February 2019, quoting Roger McNamee). While I knew what chutzpah was, this was such a clear illustration of the brazenness of the concept it briefly took my breath away.

That is exactly it!

Absolute audacity. That's chutzpah. It can be viewed as a positive trait if you live in an individualistic society, and as a negative one in a collective society. Confidence, a self-made man, entrepreneurial and a risk-taker versus boundless arrogance, entitlement, over-confidence and narcissism.

Chutzpah. Saying one thing one minute, then swearing blind that that was not what was said when circumstances change. Brass. Cheek. 

...or as I would prefer to call it: lies. Insolence. Falsehood. Selfishness. Manipulation. Egoism.

There are a few politicians who have chutzpah in spades. I wish they would trade it in for truth, honesty, and community, particularly in New Zealand. We are slowly becoming a more collective society, and chutzpah doesn't fit. And the more I look at the political debacles overseas, the less I think it fits anywhere. 

How do we make it not OK? Perhaps we have to start labelling this behaviour for what it is. Lies. Arrogance. Entitlement. 




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