It is a damp, cold day in Georgia and as I contemplate the day’s successes and failures, I am drawn to write this convo to address something that isn’t an easy subject to confront.
That is the Truth
There was a movie on Hallmark this afternoon wherein a young girl made a Christmas wish that her Aunt could no longer tell a lie. I only saw the last half of the movie but was able to get the gist of things. Ultimately, the Aunt was known for not telling the truth and not keeping her word to the young girl. The niece made the wish so that not only would her Aunt not be able to lie, but that she also could only speak the truth even if not asked a question.
This intrigued me and I thought, how often everyone (me included) had stretched the truth, bent it, or flat out lied for one reason or the other. How often had we been truth-tellers regardless of the consequences and would we be able to handle even one day of nothing but the truth? I honestly have to say that I’m not sure I could handle 24 hours of truth-telling, especially if I had to leave my house, interact with others, or do anything other than sleep. Even then, would I have the fortitude to be a truth-teller if I were alone for a full day? Could I admit to myself how depressing that would feel and how much I really miss having a close knit circle of friends?
Now don’t hear me say that I go around lying all the time and I don’t keep my word. I do try. But like Jack Nicholas said in the movie, “you can’t handle the truth” is how I feel in many situations. But as I have developed my “feedback” skills over the last few months, I have found that the fact of lying or not lying is less of concern than how we deliver the message to start with. It’s sort of like good news/bad news. Which one would you want first? Regardless, in the end is there will be at least two options each time there is something to be said or done.
Thus, my challenge to you (and myself) as we approach this holiday season is yes to be a truth-teller but more importantly, tell that truth with as much honor, dignity, and respect as I can muster. I think if we lead from this position, regardless if the news is good or bad, it will be better received and believed by the recipient of your truth.