I was just talking to a close friend (and by that I mean letting her vent to me, as is necessary from time to time) and at the end of our conversation she asked me a very personal question that, if answered honestly, had a potentially very hurtful response. I've lied to my friend before about questions like this. I've lied to a lot of people, and I know they've lied to me, because when it comes down to it, people hate hearing the truth. People like to be talked up, talked into, validated, placated; anything but hear the truth. Whether they can handle it or not is inconsequential (take that Jack Nicholson and all your quoters). In fact, truth can be a powerful motivator for self-awareness and positive change, and isn't as hard to take as we think it is, especially if it comes from someone who loves you and is delivered in a positive manner. Today I was honest with my friend. She thanked me for my open answer and as I hung up the phone I got to thinking about how many friends I have. A few (and by that I mean, tons). How many, though, would give it to me straight when it might make me cry or feel bad or hate them forever? Fewer. Not as many as I'd like. But wait, would I really want more? Could I handle all that truth? I'd like to think so, since I'm tough as nails and impossible to offend... Plus, Tom Cruise needed to hear with Col. Jessop said about freedom and there's a good chance I need to hear whatever someone might be watering down for my benefit. Makes me want to watch the Invention of Lying, the new Ricky Gervais movie about lies and their effects.
American lawyer Clarence Darrow said, "Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coattails."
Honesty. The best policy. Something to strive for. Something to demand. Something to make us better.