Honesty seems to be a fleeting and often unrecognizable virtue anymore. It seems as if what is most important is some very odd and mistaken attempt at charity where no one is “wrong” and anything goes, as long as the message is sweet, or some other “good”. We can tell stories of our lives, interactions or work and embellish at will, esp if it will aid in “getting the point across”. There is an abundance of telling little “fibs” because it just doesn’t matter and, well, people will like us if we say x, y or z. We fit in better.
I keep hearing women fill the heads of the people around them with saccharin flattery, not meant to truly compliment, only meant to make themselves seem holy, and kind, and charitable. I have listened as children were told they needed to fix something that had not done correctly, only to be told in the very next breath, in answer to what it was that was wrong with what they did (they truly did not know) that there was nothing wrong it just wasn’t correct. Because, evidently, it’s uncharitable to tell someone when they’ve done something wrong, it’s much kinder to let them know that they just can’t get anything right.
I am hearing people as they explain events, shaking my head, because I know so many of those details they’re sharing aren’t correct. Either that or the version I know is the one with the lies.
I have been in situations where women stand up and insist they are done, backing away. Tired. Moving on. Only to see those same women rip to shreds the people who walk into their shoes because they’re not doing it the way these women feel it should be done. I have seen reputations and lives ruined over these types of situations.
What has happened to us? Why can’t we be honest with ourselves? Our community? Our friends? What has happened that we have lost the ability to see things as they are? The thought that life is a competition where we have to out best our friends and acquaintances at everything, at all costs, without regard to consequences, all the while toting this attitude of holiness and beauty that is bleached and plastic and artificial is ludicrous. The thought that honesty is unkind and uncharitable and unwelcome is disheartening.
What has happened to “let your yes mean yes and your no mean no”? What happened to being authentically you, without judging the people around you for not being the “you” you so desperately want to be? What happened to giving someone an honest answer to an honest question? What happened to just shutting up if you can’t say something nice? What has happened that we have to constantly read into what others are saying?
A great blessing we have received is to have a child on the spectrum. He has taught us to be who we are. He has taught us to take a situation for what it is, not what might be the intention. He has taught us to authentically be the people God has created us to be.
He has reminded us, over and over and over again, that honest and genuine character will always be the right thing. Always.