Can You Handle the Truth?

Truth – the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality

Would you want the truth? At some point, we have all been posed with this question. Undoubtedly, each of us answers yes. Here’s the realty, no one wants the truth.

The truth can be harsh and hurtful. Truth exposes shortfalls. Truth warrants areas of improvement. Truth is enlightening. Truth is a time for self-reflection. Truth is hopeful. Truth can push us toward growth. Truth ultimately wins. While avoidable truth prevails and can’t be hidden. One can’t be mad at the truth because truth is fact. Truth can be uncomfortable.

Are you really willing to receive the truth? Can you handle the truth?

To me, the truth is factual just as defined in the dictionary. It’s not necessarily my perspective but rather actions that concrete the factuality of truth. Opinions and perspective are subjective. Facts are not.

When broaching this subject with friends, it was pointed out that truth needs a certain finesse and delivery. Interesting! Hmmm. Truth needs to be coddled?

Let’s insert an example here with a certain subject in mind, ME. A few years back at a Halloween party, I was approached by my son’s friend’s parent (got that?). They asked me if they had heard anything about their son or if I knew anything they should know. Well, they asked and I told them. I didn’t contemplate my delivery and told them I heard of a certain instance where their son had possession of pot and smoked. Whew Lordy, Lordy, Lordy. THAT did not go over well!

I was met with criticism of my own parenting and a severe tongue lashing. It’s ok though because I took it but did think WTF!? They just asked for the truth. I delivered their request. What’s the problem here?

The problem is they were unprepared for that answer. Why ask for the truth if you are going to use those darts as a boomerang at the person willing to tell you?  Did I need to coddle that truth? You have a great kid (who I do sincerely adore) but um, he’s a pothead. The truth is uncomfortable not only to the person you are delivering the news to but to the carrier as well. Don’t ever ask a question, if you don’t know or might not like the answer.

Since it’s a slow day at work and I have time, I’ll move on to example number two. A colleague of mine was in a leadership position and clearly was struggling. There was chatter behind the scenes and concerns. I put on my body armor and decided they should hear the truth. THAT did not go well either!

Should I have taken on that mantle? Was it my place to volunteer the truth unsolicited? I certainly would want to know the truth but is my assumption that they would want to know as well incorrect?

Here’s what forty-five years has taught me. No one really wants the truth. Highlighting the truth means the person is infallible and human….aren’t we all though? I’m sure you can list my short comings or failures on a toilet paper roll (that’s a lot, like 1000 sheets lol…self-deprecation needed to lighten the mood)

Consider this though the next time truth arrives on your doorstep. Why shoot the messenger? Ever consider how much courage it takes to actually stand up and speak the truth? Ever consider how incredibly uncomfortable it is to the person delivering the message? Why do we shun those willing to stand up and not talk shit behind your back yet kiss the faces of those that stab you in the back repetitively for the truths we know? That one person may actually be the only true friend you have.

Ask yourself, can you handle the truth?

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