My father has never tolerated lies. To him, they are a feeble attempt to discredit him and make him look stupid. He is not one to be played for a fool. Since he has never appreciated hearing lies, he himself can be brutally honest.
As a kid, I was encouraged to speak the truth. No, my parents did not try to be my “friends”, but they did want me to be able to talk to them about everything. To me, that is a bit of a cliche. Have you told your parents EVERYTHING when you were a kid? I surely did not. Most of the time, telling the truth was the way to go. They would sit me down and have a level-headed talk with me whenever something went wrong, but I owned up to it. Parents are only humans, so sometimes they make mistakes so. Every now and again, the truth was not what they wanted to hear, and so all hell would break loose.
And so I started lying. Most of the time, the fibs would come out, and the punishment was all the worse due to the lies and deceit. What did that teach me? It taught me to respect honesty, which was noble, proud, and courageous and to scorn dishonesty, as it was cowardly.
Being honest is about being able to handle the consequences. Think about it. Why did you lie to your parents? It was probably because you feared their punishment. You simply did not want to deal with their disappointment and potential anger.
We definitely are a product of those who raise us. Whenever someone lies to me, and I am aware of the fact that that person is not truthful, I feel as if they were attacking my intelligence. “Do you think I am stupid?” – comes to mind. “Did you not think I would find out?” Writing this, I wonder why exactly do lies deal such massive blows to my ego. If you know the answer and/ or would like to psychoanalyze me, you have my blessing. No, I do not subconsciously feel stupid or inferior. I know my worth. I have been called full of myself way too many times. It is not because I try to be. It is how people perceive confidence.
I do onto others what I would like done to me. More often than not, I tell the truth. It is not because I do not care about other people’s feelings. It is because I respect them enough to be upfront with them. If they cannot handle the truth, I am more than willing to help with that. Unfortunately, once they decide they are hurt, they turn around and walk away. Such a loss.
To me, truth is also something that I absolutely need to enhance my analysis. If everything is sunshine and rainbows, I am less likely to prepare for the storm behind the horizon. Sure, I try and be ready for anything, but that is very hard, if not impossible, to do. If I know the truth, no matter how bitter and dark it is, I am able to formulate a plan of attack that will allow me to survive this oncoming storm.
Lies are short-sighted. They are meant to get the liar out of trouble NOW. They are intended to make the receiver of the lie feel better NOW. Truth can be very uncomfortable to tell NOW, and it can hurt other people’s feelings NOW. Yes, here and now matters. But do you not care about the long-run?
Honest people are often labeled as selfish, calloused, and disrespectful. In my opinion, they are the opposite. People who tell the truth are brave. They do not necessarily disregard the feelings of others. It pains them knowing they might hurt you. They are dedicated to their own AND your well-being. You just have to give them a chance.
Making the decision to either tell the truth or tell a lie is not an easy one because of all the variables that can influence the outcome of the equation. Honesty is the best policy in my book. I am not perfect, and I might overreact if the truth is hurtful enough, but once I cool off, I will come to you and shake your hand. You telling me the truth shows that you respect me and that you want me to have all the information that I need to make an educated decision. My decision can be adverse to you. This is why telling the truth is not selfish. It is selfless. You are putting your faith in my hands.
Will you spread your arms and take that leap?
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