Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Friday, June 29, 2007

You can't handle the truth . . . or can you?

Does anyone value honesty anymore?

Seriously. I'd like to know. I'm not talking about the "does my rear look fat in this outfit" honesty. I'm talking about the kind of honesty that should be shared between people ranging from the "you're really screwing up and though I know YOU know it someone really needs to tell you anyway and that person is me because I care deeply about you and want to see you be the person I know you can be. I want you to know I care enough to say something." to the "I like you but I still have feelings for my ex who broke my heart so no, I'm not going to try and lead you on to make myself feel better, even though I really like you, because I need to straighten things out for myself first" kind of honesty. The one that lets others know that you really do care, that you want the best for the other person. The kind of honesty that lets someone know that you're not interested in playing games but in being real, in being a grown up.

How hard is it to say what's on your mind? True friends are honest even when it pisses the other person off, especially if there is concern over that person's behavior or the decisions they're making in their life. The other person might not like to hear what's being said but if someone genuinely cares about the other person then they'll risk making the other person mad. The truth is not always easy to hear and yes, it can hurt, but better the sting of honesty from a true friend than the kiss of an enemy, right? Or do people prefer to go through life being lied to and losing friends?

So many people are afraid of making waves, making someone angry, afraid of losing someone that they'll avoid confrontation and ignore things until the issue becomes the technicolor elephant in the living room that everyone tiptoes around. Pretty soon though that elephant is going to start stinking up the place pretty bad and cause major damage that can never fully be repaired and can never be undone. You can never, un-see, un-hear, un-feel or un-do any action or inaction.

The longer you avoid an issue the bigger it gets until it blows up and hurts someone, usually always more than one person. Trust me, I am one of the biggest confrontation avoiders, or at least I used to be. After that ostrich head in the sand mentality partially caused the deterioration of my marriage I realized that avoidance of the issues does nobody any good and causes more damage than talking about it and working through it. Avoidance and intentional ignorance is a ticking time bomb.

If people were honest with those they truly cared about there would be a lot less hurt, anger and mistrust in the world. Oh, sure, they say the truth hurts, but that kind of hurt can be a helpful kind, if done with the right motive and caring. It can help others to see and recognize the mistakes they're making so they can avoid them in the future. It can help repair a friendship or relationship. It can build bridges instead of burn them, build lasting foundations instead of breaking them.

Is it only me that values true, real, caring honesty any more? Even if it stings a little, it's better a little sting now than a huge hurt later. Is it so wrong to want the same from someone else? Especially from people you consider friends? From people you care about who you hope care at least a little for you? Enough to be honest anyway.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

As you say, true friends can be honest with each other, Nic.

Back from vacation.

Michael Manning said...

Good points, Nic. People tend to avoid confrontation to tread carefully thinking they might hurt someone.So it's a bit of a balancing act. Many times, direct honesty is called for. And yet, at others, caution is called for where a person is so close to discovering their own path. This was a great post!