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Thursday, June 18, 1998

Honesty, The Remedy

It takes one to know one – and vice-versa!
Alfred E. Newman

Nothing is either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so,
– William Shakespeare

The suggestion that we all need to make each look good is a tendentious figment of the self-destructive imagination.

If we all agree to be honest about things as they are – no matter what the consequences– then this "looking good" reveals itself to be a hedious disfiguration of the beauty naturally within us.

People love the truth.

Some have said that "people can't handle the truth." But the truth is that the one who said that was probably guilty of trying to hide something and was afraid of what would happen if people ever found out what it was. So, when we "make each other look good," we are conspiring to keep the truth hidden. As a rule, none of us really looks that good all the time. Especially when you really know each other. It's human nature, after all, to prettify things; to polish the doorknob of the entrance to our world of secrets.

"A friend is someone who you know and still like." How true is that?

Most people you enjoy spending your time with are people like you in some way. If you're an overeater, if you are a careful dieter, if you are "perfect," if you are fearful, and weak, if you are a couch potato, if you are a drinker and a smoker ... then you choose people to be with who like what you like. It's natural, I suppose. But this anti-dynamic pooling of keeping like people all around you will soon become exclusionary and ultimately becomes an emperor's clothes closet, full of things transparent and vacuous. It goes on to become a self-congratulatory, mutual admiration society of misinformation and character assassinating mischief.

So why do we do it?

If people "look bad," they have probably temorarily earned it. It is almost never a global change for life, thank goodnes. When people are really good, then true and powerful role models emerge for others to emulate. Which is good. Suddenly we are surrounded by wonder. But, on the other hand, amid self-inflating exaggerations and misleadings the role models, in homogenized, pre-selected groups, that emerge may have the appearace – the disguise – of being really good but definitely are not.

Hypocrisy's contamination and envy's sour notes are hard to ignore. When others, mistakenly, adopt the false model, in hope of belonging, they quickly learn that trust went flying out the window with that decision. Then, sad cynicism takes over. In these closed circles of mutual self-agrrandizement, those who actually seek the truth can't even get in. It would wreck everything. Those who dare to embrace reality, are dismissed as irrelevant, cast out as apostasy, and ridiculed for their naivety. When, really, they were precious gems on the necklace of true friendship.

If there are any of these downwardly spiraling tendancies in your life, fight back with the most fearsome weapon known to man ... accepting the truth.

Remember you may start out alone in these matters, but that will change.

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