12/29/2009

Give it to me Straight



Ever wonder why folks are so reluctant, as adults, to be totally honest with each other? Yes, often times, what is said is what the recipient wants to hear; an endorsement, of sorts, of the asker’s opinions so as to avoid any confrontation. Sometimes these white lies can build to the point where the communication is so far from the truth, it is almost as if a rubber band has been stretched to the breaking point.

We can all take a lesson from children. As the saying goes, “out of the mouth of babes. ” Children are honest, at times, brutally honest. If you ask a child if he or she likes something, you will get the truth. It does not matter if you have slaved in the kitchen breaking out in hot sweats for hours. If they don’t like the meal, they are going to tell you, with or without your prompting. Wouldn’t we all rather hear the truth though that a fabrication of reality?

I often watch my grandchildren interact with each other just to see these phenomena. There are two of them, relatively close in age, and when one does not want to share, the other one knows it without a doubt. Even as children age, they still tend to be quite honest. I will never forget, years ago, when my darling nephew, around 7 years old at the time , Nic Taylor said to me, after opening his present for his birthday, “Please Aunt Ronni, don’t buy me more clothes!” His mother looked dismayed but I was overjoyed. I do not want to spend money on something someone does not appreciate. From that day forward, I seldom have bought him one article of clothing, except for a football jersey he asked for! How much better is that than not knowing what someone is really thinking?

There is a lesson to be learned, quite simply, from children. Be upfront and honest with others. We can be more diplomatic than children often are and show more sensitivity but yet speak the truth. There is no need to rip something out of someone’s hands we want or throw a temper tantrum if we are not getting the attention we want. But, imagine a world where adults care enough about each other to be honest. Imagine, when someone asks our input, we tell them quite simply, objectively, what we feel without filtering down so badly it does not really resemble more than just a mirror of what they just said. Also, are you really helping others discern the truth from fiction in their life if you are not honest with them?
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