Is honesty the best policy? Some of my wonderful readers and friends have told me how much they appreciate the honesty of my blog posts. It struck me that their acknowledgment might imply that the kind of honest observations I make aren’t all that common. And it also made me think about the role of honesty in our world.
Honesty is hard for some people to take.
Especially if it doesn’t agree with what they think. Shooting the messenger isn’t uncommon.
Look. I am not everyone’s cup of tea. And I’m ok with that. I’m an observer of life who sometimes enjoys satire and snark. I’m direct and I speak what I think. It’s never mattered if someone else agrees with me or not; everyone is absolutely welcome to their own opinion and if it differs from mine? It doesn’t matter.
I just think it’s important that we all stand for something.
But we don’t all have to stand for that something in our writing.
I read a whole bunch of blogs that focus on fashion, thrifting, food, health, fitness and all aspects of life. Or product reviews. Some of them are meant to provide income for the women who write them. Their blogs are not the right venue for their opinions because opinions don’t fit their mission. And strong opinions might impact their livelihoods.
That fact takes nothing away from my enjoyment of them or their blogs.
Me? I like starting conversations. I like thinking and making others think. And I like to read blogs that do that, too. To the extent my blog does that, I’m proud.
Honesty is a good conversation starter.
We live in a world where opinions are more polarized than ever before. Some people are completely convinced of the correctness of their point of view, as if they hold the objective truth. That makes me laugh. There is, of course, no single opinion that is the ONE TRUE FACT. There’s only our experience of an event or situation.
It is, in fact, entirely possible to disagree and still have a conversation. In fact, a more interesting conversation than we’d have if everyone agreed. That is, as long as one side isn’t so wedded to their point that they get emotional and can’t converse courteously.
Conversation, by the way, is different from debate. Debate is supposed to be persuasive. I don’t often debate because I prefer conversation that digs into why people feel the way they do. To me, that’s what’s most interesting. Not the opinion itself.
Honesty can be threatening.
Life is full of little fictions and agreements we make not to talk about the hard stuff. But I think the hard stuff is the meat of life.
Still, many people don’t like the fictional foundations of their lives shaken. That’s ok. It’s a big world and there’s room for everyone.
At the recent conference I hung out with a bunch of opinionated women who weren’t afraid to speak up about any topic. Sometimes pro and sometimes con. It’s probably no surprise that many of those women have already become treasured friends because of the discussions we had at that conference. Do we agree on everything? No. But we do agree on one thing: that opinions are good, regardless of what they are. That discussion makes a lively friendship. And a way lot of laughter.
There’s no call to action here. Except maybe to think about the role of honesty in our own lives and examine the extent to which it threatens our view of the world. And maybe, just maybe, expand our world view a bit to include other points of view. Or at least make it okay for others to hold differing viewpoints without making them “wrong.” Let honesty be the best policy.
Oh, and if I’m not your cup of tea? I know that. Call it being psychic or call it intuitive, I don’t care which. But I do know. And that’s ok. As we used to say in the South, makes no nevermind to me. It’s a big world with room for all of us.