refreshing honesty

First, I would like to thank Amber Naslund (@ambercadabra on twitter… follow her cuz she’s awesome) for this thought that inspires this particular post.

You can read the quote here.

It gets me thinking about things. Not just social media (which wasn’t her intent anyway), but about people in general. We have the idea that falsehood is so entrenched into everyday life and our interactions with the world around us that we see honesty – pure honesty – as abnormal and even scary.

Why? Why should it be abnormal for people to say what they mean and to have integrity? I don’t think it should, but you would expect that. We all would. That’s my point. It shouldn’t be refreshing when someone is honest; it should be shocking when someone isn’t. Again, you nod your head and agree, but five minutes from now, if you see that someone is caught up in scandal, you will passively acknowledge it is “that’s how things are” while the person that passes by you, genuinely happy with their lives gets a look of disdain, “they’re not being real if they’re that happy”…

You get the idea.

This is where I want to say something like, “Let’s start a revolution of honesty in our lives personal and professional”, but you know what? I’m not going to do that because I think it is stupid that we should need to even say that… or say “be real” for that matter.

On a side note, being real doesn’t mean being an ass. Yes, I said that. We take people as being real when they blatantly disregard feelings and say things, angrily, that also happen to be true. That has nothing to do with telling the truth and furthermore doesn’t help communicate truth to anyone that hears it.

Maybe it is also refreshing to hear someone tell the pure truth without being a douche. That I could more readily believe.

Like I said, I won’t suggest some kind of revolution, so how about I suggest something a little less flashy: why don’t we try acting like we have common sense, decency and integrity like we’re supposed to anyway?

Yeah… I like that idea.

What do you think?


2 responses to “refreshing honesty”

  1. The tough part, of course, is that “common sense” simply isn’t so common. And to those offending our sensibilities, it may just be to them that they ARE exercising common sense. Our perspectives on what that means can vary widely.

    But to your point about being real not meaning being an ass: thank you. It’s possible to have civil disagreement. Intelligent discourse. To be different without being rude or judgmental about others. To have a stance or even a passionate opinion but not to deliver same with vitriol or distastefulness or even cruelty. You can stand for what you believe in without stepping on others.

    It’s *that* that I think we need to cultivate in others. Self-awareness, and the awareness of others around you. Perhaps that all sounds like warm touchy feely stuff, but I think we’d all do each other a bit of better if we could stop and wonder, just for a moment, how our words and actions might impact someone else.

    Thanks for the post, and for the shoutout. 🙂

  2. Thanks for commenting. I’m going to be giddy for a moment…..

    Okay, now about the comment there.

    You are very, very right about that. Common sense isn’t as widespread as we would like for sure. There is a difference in my mind between those that say things that can hurt and those that say things to hurt. The lines aren’t always clear and when you factor in life experiences, worldviews and the like, it gets even fuzzier. That said, I think there is a place in every person that recognizes when someone is telling the pure truth and when someone is being hateful — even when they lash out and rail because they don’t want to hear it. I think some are more sensitive to that than others — esp. in my generation of “Don’t judge me…” people, but everyone has that somewhere.

    Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes…. Because of my background, it is necessary for me to be able to talk to people about topics that will cause violent reactions with calm. I don’t understand why people can’t just decide that “I hear your point, let me think about it…” or “I disagree, but see where you are coming from…” and just shake hands. If I required everyone I liked to agree with me about everything, I wouldn’t have a friend or colleague in the world. Maybe that is why we can be so closed about who we connect to and aren’t willing to let new voices speak to us. I see another blog here….

    I agree with everything in the third point but the descriptors. It may sound mushy or touchy-feely, but more than that it’s HONEST. It’s the very honesty, in fact, that I’m talking about here. I’m starting to think that “touchy-feely” means “you’re getting to close to my heart. Stop. Now.” for most people.

    As for the shoutout: “…anything less would be uncivilized…”

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