That’s an interesting question. It is a complicated issue. William Blake (1757-1827), the multi-talented English poet and artist, wrote ‘A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.’ I agree with that.
Our society frowns on chronic liars and rightly so. Yet, the naked truth can be so hurtful, in some people’s hands it becomes a knife which can pierce the heart.
Perhaps we need another word for avoiding ugly truths which hurt others, most of which they know about anyway. So, if a friend asks you to point out his/her failings, don’t — unless you’re ready to give up the relationship. They are probably just hoping for some kind words.
In the novel ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ by Arthur Golden, the protagonist says ‘There are good facts and bad facts, the bad facts are best avoided.’ I think she has a good point.
Thoreau, the American writer and libertarian famously said ‘Rather than love, than money, than fame — give me truth’, but he was talking about another issue altogether.
Then there is Oscar Wilde, who gave me so many hours of fascinating reading, who didn’t believe in telling the truth at all and said ‘The telling of beautiful untrue things is the proper aim of Art.’ and ‘He would be the best of fellows if he did not always speak the truth.’
I warned you. Honesty IS a complex subject. Think about it during the holiday and give me your thoughts afterwards.
Above all, do have a happy holiday and a healthy New Year.
Very nice post. It’s true sometimes bad things are better never said. No point in hurting someone’s sentiments just to show how truthful you are 😊
Yes, absolute honesty is a difficult thing to aspire to. Happy Holiday, Cheers, Muriel
Oh, Muriel, this is a good one! I’ll be happy to share my take on “truth” and “honesty” after the holidays, as you suggested. I’ve learned about this subject the hard way, as everyone does, sooner or later!
Ah Val: So have I. It hurt so much that many years later, I still remember it clearly. Let’s talk after the holidays. Cheers, Muriel
To be truthfully honest is sometimes hurtful (so we avoid it). But does that mean not being truthfully honest is being deceptive? I need more enlightenment on this one. 😁 Cheers!
You are right, however I am talking about kindness. I wish there was another word to use when we don’t want to hurt someone and avoid saying what may be true — but hurtful. Thanks for reading and thinking about it. I often do too. All the best, Muriel
Yeah, what would be another word to use when we don’t want to hurt someone and avoid saying what may be true? Hmmm… Now you are making me think again! 😂😂😂
I wish I knew one. Maybe we can make one up, or it is possible some very clever person will read this and come up with a word which already exists that we don’t know. Thinking is good for us, right??? Chuckle. Muriel
I think that hard truths must be told to a person. But only in extreme situations. And only if the teller has his/her facts right. See ya!
Interesting perspective. So many ways to look at it. Happy whatever, Muriel
You’ve given me plenty to think. Honesty IS a complex subject, as you say. But you’ve done a great job compiling. I agree with Blake, a complex poet himself.
I feel we can substitute Justice with Truth/Honesty in “Justice without mercy is cruelty.”
I like what you came up with Jaya: Honesty without mercy IS cruelty. Yes. Love, Muriel
If honesty does nothing but bring pain and harm, it is not a positive thing.
True, then we must learn when NOT to be honest, right? Love, Maughm
It is complicated. The word tact comes to mind when trying to say something in a way that won’t hurt someone. It may include not telling the truth or simply lying. I’m okay with it. Happy Holidays to you as well!
Good word, TACT. I could live with that to describe it. Thanks so much. Now I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Whew! Happy whatever, Muriel
You are a delight. Always so glad to hear from you. Enjoy each day. Muriel
Profound words, Muriel. Both saying, truths in happy times and lies in sad times, are alright. It is not a question of wrong or right, but what the times demand. Like you said above, everyone needs some kind words 😀
Right Arnav: One reader (see above) came up with a good word to use instead of ‘dishonesty’, TACT. I like that for when we lie in order to be kind. All the best to you, Muriel
Glad you liked it. I enjoyed all the comments and learned from them. Cheers, Muriel
That is an interesting post. Many a time it is better to be diplomatic rather than hurt someone. And sometimes I feel it is ok to tell white lies 🙂 if it does not hurt someone.
Regards and best wishes, Lakshmi
I totally agree with you. You’re right. Have a good 2022. Cheers, Muriel
Love this post, food for thought
Thanks for reading and here’s to a great 2022 for you and all of us. Cheers, Muriiel