What is Wrong with Honesty?

I had an image stuck in my head the other day. I woke to find it still there and knew I needed to let it out. My premise is this, what is wrong with honesty? Sounds ridiculous right? Nothing is wrong with honesty. Everything is wrong with honesty. I would say I am blessed to have what I call morals. I swear at times it's a curse. But it's who I am, enough said. I realize also not everyone's morals are the same. So I'm not being judgie here. There is right and wrong and a micron or mile of gray in between depending on who you are.

I'm not going to go into a big moral thing but honesty, that little sucker is a problem. I discovered somewhere along the line there are people who like and appreciate honesty. You know what else I think? Way more people don't. They not only prefer to be lied to, they expect it.

Back to my image. I kept seeing a kid who couldn't catch very well. The idea was to toss him the ball softly in a way he would be able to catch or at least make his best effort. Just this summer I saw a father with three young girls who wanted to play catch. The girls went across the way and he threw the ball so hard it hurt them to catch it. This could likely fuel a couple posts on its own. I love kids, this was disturbing.

I mean he was whipping the ball at them. Two of the girls started crying and it was over. Besides me thinking I witnessed a true ass hole and I don't mean this in a flattering way, the image stuck in my mind.

These girls just wanted someone to play with them. They wanted to play catch. I doubt they ask again. I started talking about honesty, where is this meandering fool headed?

Back to the uncoordinated little boy, we won't call him any name that starts with a G. Little boy is fine. OK so he can't catch. I have to help him tie his shoes and likely will for years to come. I know he doesn't have the skill, drive or commitment to move past a game of catch in the side yard. Should I tell him the truth? I need to encourage his accomplishment of catching a single ball. I should encourage growth. Right? Should I lie to him and tell him he is the best ball catcher that ever lived? I might, depending on his age.

Let's look at this kid as an adult. I am still helping him tie his shoes. It's not because he can't, he's too lazy to learn so I do it for him. We go out to the yard to play catch. I toss the ball underhand to him and he catches it once. I load him in the car and take him to whatever they call the open auditions for football. I believe it's walk ons. He gets there and is completely humiliated. He couldn't even make it into the line because his shoe came untied and he kept tripping on it. The coach guy tossed him a ball and he didn't know how to react. It was obvious to him he was not even close. How could that be? He was told he was the best ball catcher in the world.

Honesty can be hard to take. 

I will never forget some of the things my dad told me. The kind of morsel that really sticks in your craw until you are mature enough to realize he was right. Yea, that kind of honesty. I can vividly remember some, if not most of the times someone was that honest with me. Why do I remember?

Because it was hard to take. It is hard to take. At first. At first can last let's say thirty or forty years or maybe a couple days. It can hurt. The solution? Avoidance. Avoid people who will be honest. They are bad and they will hurt you. I am not talking about being mean for the sake of being mean. That gets flown under the banner of honesty all too often.

Honesty can be too hard to take.

So we lie to each other. We sugar coat things to keep from hurting feelings. I get that too but where do you draw the line. How many adults do I see who expect to be treated like children? How many do you see? Why couldn't honesty work? I don't think I can answer that. I am the one who would say, dude you are too lazy to tie your own damn shoes. What makes you think you are going to do anything more ambitious than that? I am sure there would be a line of sensitive people who would say I am the asshole trying to break the girls fingers with the ball. Am I?

Or am I just being honest?


The Plan said...

I have to chime in here. I see what you're saying, but you're not talking about honesty versus not being honest. You're talking about having tact or not tact. If a child sucks at throwing a ball and I feel I need to say something to him/her I just let them know there is a way to get better. From there they know that I don't think they're that good. I don't need to say, damn, son, you suck. It's just having tact. You need to be honest and mature at the same time, not JUST honest. That's not good enough. Now if I'm at work it's totally polite to tell someone, "Hey, man, it's not personal but this kind of work will get you fired." You don't need to be rude, but it's honest and needs to be said at the point of action and not later. But tact is what you're looking for, not honesty.

Gordon A. Wilson said...

I love it. Tact I will buy that- but in my scenario, I patted the guy doing substandard work on the back and told him "good job" to keep from hurting his "feelings." I knew I was leading the kid who couldn't tie his shoes to failure as well. I agree using tact would still incorporate the honesty necessary for me to grow from the experience instead of some lie to take the easy way out. You shared your honest opinion and I learned from it. I actually agree on your point. What is not to love about that? Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to converse.