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The Painful Truth

July 28, 2010

A few years ago, I took great pleasure in “pushing people’s buttons”– it developed initially as a defense-mechanism to group-home abuse. I always was a step ahead when it came to “running my mouth”, and I always had the psychological advantage in verbal confrontations. I can’t say I hated it, and perhaps the benefits compensated by the social backlash it caused. But eventually I realized that I needed to be more mature in my confrontations, and practice a bit more discretion for people’s feelings.

To the present: Yesterday I had a verbal confrontation with some, and I really hurt their pride in the process. It’s not as if I was intending to “push his buttons”, it just unfortunately went in that direction. I was asked a question, and I answered honestly. The context isn’t that relevant this posts, but in either case it was what i said that was so painful for him to deal with: I said that he was “a mediocre parent at best”.

I was not intending to hurt anyone’s feelings, accept anyone, or get into a conflict of any sort. I just answered the question in the most honest cut-and-dried way possible. But as it turns out, that kind of candidness not only really hurt people’s feelings, but it can also cause people to misunderstand the truth, resulting in an indirect deception.

I’ve found that most people cannot understand what I believe and stand for, and who I am. It’s not because I’m being unclear or vague about it– it’s quite the opposite. I’m so candid about who I am that everyone ends up missing the point. They see the truth, but it blinds them so much that whenever they ‘try’ to understand, they end up mistaking beauty for distorted chaos.

Most people cannot appreciate me, because my beauty is essentially too raw and uncouth for them to even begin to understand. Ironic as it might seem, most people understand who I am far more when I skip around the truth, and end up only being deceived by my candidness.

So then, is it better for me to a live a lie, so that other people might better appreciate the truth about me?

There’s no simple answer to that question– definitely not an answer I would even know how to properly convey here. But I suppose in the end, as much as I hate it, compromise seems to be the best solution– perhaps the only solution. If I want people to appreciate me, I have to practice discretion with everything that I say, so that I might know when they would best appreciate the truth, to know when “dumbing down” the truth is best, and when outright lying or “not saying anything at all” is sometimes the best solution.

In the course of my search for truth, I’ve found that there is indeed truth in this world, but it isn’t something that just sits there statically to be understood and relied upon. Truth, like a person, changes over time; it’s still the same truth, but how that truth is understood changes, just as the way we understand each other changes over time.

But I’ve found that even more importantly, “the truth” is over-rated. The price of finding the truth is to lose sight of its meaning, and the price of finding meaning in life is to lose sight of the truth. Either way, compromise is inevitable.

Sometimes it’s important to know the truth; but I’ve found that for those truths that are painful, ignorance really is bliss. There are some things in this world that we are better off knowing, so it’s important that we practice discretion when pursuing truth; we are what we believe in, so we should only believe in truths that will benefit us. After all, what value is there in truth that causes more harm than good?

One Comment leave one →
  1. A Reader of th3g1vr since 20 Dec 06 permalink
    July 30, 2010 1:57 am

    I have learned that, most often, people do not really want to hear the truth because the truth is often very uncomfortable and emotionally painful as it exposes: failure, wrong-headedness, imperfections, neglect, wrongs-done-to-other, ignorance, and evil.

    I have found that even the most rudimentary truth, and or advice, is unwelcome because it can dislodge one from a comfortable position.

    I was recently given a bit of wisdom: If they didn’t ask you for it, don’t give it to them.

    I have found that by following that bit of wisdom, I have avoided unpleasant situations, while others around me became angry and hurt by one another.

    Not every thing in my mind if appropriate for public consumption.

    Even, as you have learned, if they ask you for the truth, it is not always wise to give it.

    For instance, if a woman who has recently put on a few extra pounds, asked you, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

    The truth would be hurtful and painful.

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