Monday, September 25, 2006


The word of the day is:


1. the power or right to decide or act according to one's own judgment; freedom of judgment or choice: It is entirely within my discretion whether I will go or stay.
2. the quality of being discreet, esp. with reference to one's own actions or speech; prudence or decorum: Throwing all discretion to the winds, he blurted out the truth.
3. at discretion, at one's option or pleasure: They were allowed to work overtime at discretion

Discretion has been a big part of my life, both in my previous work in law enforcement and in my life as a libertine, which I'll elaborate on shortly.

Using discretion involves relative morality; things are not viewed in simple black and white, right and wrong terms. Rather, one must think, weigh, and consider in order to come up with the appropriate course of action in any given instance. Human beings are complex and matters involving their actions can rarely be accurately boiled down to a set of strict, unwavering rules.

In law enforcement, discretion is honed to a fine art as officers gain experience in dealing with the general public. One of the surest ways to spot a rookie cop is observing how closely they adhere to the letter of the law, even in the most petty of situations. Not yet sure of themselves and their ability to judge situations, rookies naturally depend heavily, and many times solely, on strict interpretation of the law in their job to protect and serve. "Rules are rules" could be the motto for a cop in his or her first year on the job.

But as an officer gains experience in dealing with some of the same situations again and again, they learn to use discretion in enforcing the law, in areas where they are legally allowed wiggle room to exercise their own judgement. One gains a certain knack in reading people which assists in handling the situation. Traffic law enforcement is typically an area where officers are legally allowed a good bit of discretion.

In my personal life, discretion is essential to smoothly managing several sexual partners. I conduct some of my relationships quite openly, often being seen in public with such lovers. With others, the relationships are more private, because of their relationships with other people; intimate, platonic, familial, and professional. In this arena, discretion is closely related to trust and privacy. All my lovers trust me to be discreet to whatever degree necessary.


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