Wednesday, March 30, 2016

CastleTalk #5: Self-Reflection - Balancing Your Views Isn't Easy

Last week, I wrote about being a critical royal watcher and keeping a balance with your views. But am I actually balanced or is it just something I like, we all like to think? Time for reflection and truth be told: I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people who wouldn't categorise me as a critical and balanced royal watcher. Though, as with all things, it's probably a matter of perspective. While I think of myself as too negative for the pro-royal sites and at the same time too positive for the anti-royal sites (still for lack of better terms), many people would probably either call me too positive or too negative. And probably I sometimes am.

Over on Luxarazzi, I try to keep my opinions to myself - and that's something my co-bloggers and me can all agree on. The blog was started to serve as an English-language news site about the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg. There was no English-language news about the family at the time and we searched the German, French and Luxembourgish sites available high and low to cover news and current events. No one of us would have imagined what it became. I'm still amazed by the number of visitors and clicks we get - and I still freak out a little if we get contacted by media from all around the world for research purposes or are quoted somewhere.

My unvoiced opinions

I wasn't actually part of Team Luxarazzi at the very beginning. I joined a few months or a year in. (Shame on me, I don't actually recall...) However, it was always clear that our aim was to stay positive and give the blog a positive tone. Just like me, all the other members of the blogging team have likes and dislikes about the members of the Luxembourg (and the Liechtenstein) families. As I said in my previous post, if I would voice my opinions about all the members of the Luxembourg and Liechtenstein families, most people would wonder why I keep up with them at all. I don't just have opinions, some of them pretty strong:
  • Grand Duke Henri: You are the head of a constitutional monarchy, was refusing to sign the euthansia bill really worth to basically provoke a constitutional crisis? 
  • Grand Duchess Maria Teresa: Yes, you are the more charismatic one but you are not the star of the show, your husband is the head of state. Shouldn't you step back a little more and let him shine?
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume: I understand that not each and every single event can be super interesting and I appreciate that you have gotten better at it but you should really work on your acting skills if an event isn't the most interesting to you.
  • Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie: I see that you actually have done more events overall in the past two years as your mother-in-law but why are rougly about 90 percent (an estimated guess) of them just accompanying your husband? Can't you do a few more of your own to sharpen your profile?
Yes, I dislike things they do or don't do, choices they make. These were just one each for the four most high-profile members of the Grand Ducal Family - and certainly not my strongest. However for me, Luxarazzi was never the place to air these critical views loudly. Behind the scenes, there is a lot of chatter going on with my co-bloggers who have opinions of their own, positive and negative. Not to voice the negatives ones publicly on the blog is a choice to let form everyone their own opinions.

Selective perception

But even though I try to be balanced there are members in each royal family that I like more than others. Sometimes I have no idea why that is; sometimes someone simply rubs me the wrong way. Reflecting on it, I don't think I'm always balanced in my opinion of those someones. It's a kind of selective perception. It's simply so very easy to only see the things you want to see. You can usually interpret a move or a picture a hundred, if not a thousands ways. If someone rubs you the wrong way, it's easy to see all the things you dislike. If you like someone, it's easy to overlook their faults. To put it simply: It's easy to judge.

We judge a person on their appearance, their background, their class. On the choices they make or the lives they lead. And we often judge them from afar - especially when it comes to royals. However, as I wrote in the last post on this matter, we don't actually know them and there is no black and white in life. So we need to keep ourselves, I need to keep myself in check. Being critical towards ourselves and our views is just crucial as being critical of the royals we like and dislike.

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