There’s something appealing about the idea of honesty, but I think it’s challenging to implement. Before we can be truly and sensibly honest with others, we must be honest with ourselves. They are inexplicably entwined.
Often, I think the reason we’re not honest with others is because we don’t want to offend. We have these thoughts which aren’t positive or kind, so we withhold them and offer a sugar-coated alternative. This issue ties directly in with respect. If I don’t respect myself (or the other person), then I’m going to proffer a watered-down alternative of myself. Ayn Rand said,
Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads.
Any misrepresentation of our true self has the effect of ruining that posture. It’s subtle, happening over a long period of time, but any compromise of nature ultimately leads to forgotten dignity.
I don’t want to share who I am with others if I’m ugly. The whole reason I’ve presented a mild or unrealistic side of myself was to prevent others from seeing my ugliness. It’s easier to hide than to change. All of this dancing around has just shown a lack of respect and cowardice; neither are desirable qualities.
Additionally, when I hear honesty, I want the strength and dignity to face it. And I want to be sincere and candid in my interactions with others. In order to do that and still maintain peace, I must take the mean thoughts captive and work toward a positive, yet realistic state of mind.
The world doesn’t need another yelling match or cold shoulder. Drama is already abundant. This is where nobility and integrity contrast with cowardice and faithlessness. What the world needs is squared shoulders and a resolute posture: a demeanor that is ready to take on people for who they are, and a willingness to battle with and defeat the contemptible inside.
I’ll leave you all with a Terry Goodkind quote and two songs that I listen to when I need a little perking up. If you don’t like the songs, then you will just need to be extra strong and find your own. 😉
We all can be only who we are, no more, no less.
Bon Jovi-It’s My Life