I’ve been reading a lot lately… actually, let me rephrase that. I’m reading a lot always and as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes themes just jump out at me. Over and over and over again. And when that happens, I have only once choice and that is to talk about it here, because they’ll never leave me alone until I do.
You may be asking yourself right now, is this a symptom of schizophrenia? And I need to assure you that no, it is not. I dabble in mental illness, of course, but schizophrenia is simply not my thing. Therefore, the voices must be real…
The theme as of late has been honesty. Truth. Realness, actuality. And I firmly believe that good people are attracted to truth like a moth to a flame. And if this blog has taught me anything, it’s that every single time I make the hard choice to share a tough, personal truth, good people come a runnin’. Every time.
Whether it’s ugly hair or an ongoing battle with depression— good people. Every. Single. Time.
But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how this desire for truth and honesty isn’t necessarily universal. Because as much as I value honesty, I value kindness even more. And I don’t think the two things are mutually exclusive. White lies told in the pursuit of kindness are a-o-k in my book (i.e. feel free to lie to spare my feelings, I’ll never hold it against you, and might even like you more for it).
There are definitely some people who pride themselves on their willingness to tell others the cold hard truth– unsolicited honesty to a fault. But that’s really not the type of truth-telling I’m talking about here. What I have recently come to find so much more important is not so much telling truths about others, because regardless of what I perceive about someone, I still can’t know everything, but rather, sharing the truth about myself. As my fortune cookie said last week (I’m telling you– this theme has been everywhere!), “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting their battle too,” and the only battle you can really know for sure is the battle you are fighting yourself.
To me, kindness in the context of honesty means sharing truths about yourself rather than your perception of others. (Think your friend’s husband is a total weirdo? Recognize how much she loves him and be happy that they’re happy! Think your own husband is a total weirdo? Use it for blog material! (kidding… love you, Sethy!) Don’t like your friend’s new hair cut? Maybe try complimenting her gorgeous smile instead! Don’t like your hair cut? Make jokes about it on the internet!) Easier said than done though, right? I struggle every day and every blog post (because it’s so much easier to rant about others than to examine hard truths about my self!), but I definitely feel the best when I an make those two things work together.
Honesty. Kindness. Boom bam, baby!
4 thoughts on “Honestly Kind”
There’s nothing crazy about honesty, it’s the essence of sanity. Someone wise beyond her years (cough, cough-you) once told me, “sanity is a must.”
Re: kind white lies. I always ask myself: is it more important for this person to know the truth, or for their feelings to be spared? I tend to come down on the side of sparing feelings. Of course, this doesn’t apply to serious, big stuff–just little things, like haircuts and fashion choices. If someone has stated they hate their hair, why kick them when they’re down? And if they like their hair, why try to make them feel bad about themself?
This rambling comment has been brought to you by ‘it’s almost finals week and I’m still dealing with a pie hangover’ 🙂
I could not agree more with every word of this post. (Big surprise I know).
Great post Rachel. Sounds like your theme is everywhere. I’m doing the CTA liturgy for this coming February and am thinking of using “What is Truth” as the theme.