Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Danger In Being "Brutally Honest"

First let's just pull the word brutal out of the title and define it.

(Brutal - In a savagely violent way. He was imprisoned and brutally tortured; in a direct way that does not attempt to disguise unpleasantness or ill-temperateness. She was unapologetic and brutally honest"

For me there is a huge difference in being honest with integrity and being brutal and hurtful with the truth. Expressing one's self with honesty requires me to treat even my worst enemy as I would want to be treated. Religious, nonreligious, Christian, Hindu, Buddha, no matter the title of belief, the core is the same. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

When we preface our words with "brutally honest" it is telling ourselves that in this case I am excused of being kind or caring of the words I use as I am only speaking what is true and you need to know this no matter how I deliver the information to you.  While it may be true and may need said it doesn't have to be said without care of the other person's feelings. Even when the other person is in the wrong.  Two wrongs have never made a right. In the end no one gains anything useful in this practice. Being "brutally honest" does more harm than good as people are defensive and closed minded and will not hear the message anyway. They are too busy trying to find a way to retaliate. The truth isn't always pleasant or pretty, however we are capable of delivering the truth with the least amount of pain to the other person as possible. We may not be able to save them from the pain they will experience about the truth, however we do not need to add to their pain.

With so much deception in the world at this moment, being honest with ones self  is paramount. If I can't be honest with myself, I definitely cannot be honest with anyone else. Herein lies the quandary we need to get to. I want to be honest but...  There is no substitute for the truth. Can I deliver that truth with the least amount of pain as possible. Being a good friend doesn't mean I agree with you all the time, and it doesn't give me a right to be "brutally honest" There is no excuse for willfully injuring someone with words or deed. Our leaders have an opportunity daily to be an example of truth tellers, yet fail miserably in their efforts.

As parents and grandparents we have an obligation to teach our children the value of truth with as much kindness as possible.  May your day be blessed and in turn may your expression bless others.