Thursday, December 10, 2009

PSA: The Kindness of Truth

Recently, someone I care about hurt someone else I care about. I'll keep the details for that novel I'll write someday. But I at the center of all this hurt was the intention to do no harm and a whole lot of lies to spare a person pain.

In reflecting on the situation and what led up to it, I'll just say this as a public service announcement to all you regular people out there trying to do the right thing:

Honesty is the best policy for a reason. It can seem kinder to keep hurtful things to yourself, but remember: trust betrayed is the worst kind of hurt. Beyond the immediate feeling of betrayal, you damage the person's ability to trust you again, to trust others and to his / her judgment. It's three or four times the pain you would have caused by simply being honest.

Yes, truth is the kinder route. But if that's not enough of a reason to be honest, consider the obvious: it's a whole lot easier to remember the truth than the little lies that build up.

Be kind; tell the truth.

You can find the "Honesty Jar" image in protactinium's flickr stream.


Jack said...

Honesty is the best policy, but sometimes that little white lie can spare a ton of hurt.

Sandy said...

I hear you.

My experience recently has been on some major, major lies that built up over time. But I imagine those lies starting as every day little white lies. It's a slippery slope. With the sparing harm argument, the fundamental question is, "would it be better for the person to hear it from me now, or for them to find out in some other way down the road?" From that point, it's usually a matter of presentation and tact...