Speaking Frankly

“Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable; be honest and frank anyway.”     Kent M. Keith

“Frankness is not a license to say anything you want, wherever and whenever you want. It is not rudeness.”    Dick Warren

“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

A straightforward speaker, or honest discussion is becoming outmoded. It is difficult to exchange words with anybody, without contemplating every word and facial expression. Even our facial manifestations might tell a  conflicting story from our words. There are times when I retreated from an encounter, utterly confused as to where the other person stood in their convictions. I must admit that many times I am not even sure of the message I professed, during my engagement with another. Confusion regarding beliefs and truths is common. It leaves us all wondering where we stand on numerous issues.As a teacher it is impossible to perhaps offer a negative argument  about a child. Teachers search for the positive compliments first, but eventually must get to the meat of the matter, which includes negative problems that must be addressed. How else do we correct  anything  if we can’t confront it. Parents love their children but must learn to accept the less than honorable qualities, that are sometimes displayed outside the home environment. Upon delivering some painful insights, most teachers hope that parents will work with them, to support healthier outcomes. A lot depends upon the way the parents interpret the information and advice.

Loving kids unconditionally should make accepting their failures easier. Faults should never cause us to love our kids less. Pretending the kids are never to blame is ludicrous. It only magnifies the issues and postpones finding answers. Why is it we are all so convinced  of the necessity of hiding our faults. We  even conceal our children’s blame. Honesty has been overcome with pride. We leave no room for truth anymore. Distrust permeates the atmosphere and keeps veracity crushed.

When things go wrong in any area of society, even those at the top of the pile, cringe and lie if need be. We want to appear to be blameless. Hidden secrets, false agendas, cryptic language, and fear remain powerful tools that cover up honesty and integrity. It is not like we want to be evil or do bad things. We just don’t want to be caught or perceived in that manner. Our ego is at stake and our reputation. Instinctively we tout our reputation as if that covers everything. I suppose it does shroud a lot of hidden lies and falsehoods.

My biggest fear about all of this, is how little we cherish honor and reliability. So many of us trip over answering questions, because we are trying to think what we should say and what we should avoid sharing. morality is lacking, along with integrity. We can’t jeopardize our character or the pride of our family. So these little indiscretions appear to be nothing in comparison to our life’s work and family’s decency. We choose to bury our secrets.

Choosing right from wrong is taught at a very young age. As kids mature they learn that it is okay to bend the rules a bit, if your heart is in the right place. This extension of truthfulness stretches as we find glitches in our paths. The bending and stretching continues, until we don’t recognize truth from falsehood. Some of us may come to believe we are doing it for the good of others. The fact that it also  benefits us and our good name is irrelevant, so we falsely believe.

The end never justifies the means, is a powerful statement that seems to be forgotten. We almost pride ourselves about how we accomplished so much by disregarding this rule of thumb. Most of us will agree when we observe the positive outcome. I wonder how many people are disheartened at the way animals are used to discover cures. Of course someone will testify that you or a family member, with an illness that is controlled with medicine, are fortunate enough to have received the cure because of animal testing. I still have a problem with this because the end really doesn’t justify the means. Mankind always has trouble drawing lines, and I wonder how far we are capable of going.

Thinking out of the box is praised, but if that means anything goes, we must protest and reflect on our actions. Perhaps we have stopped questioning motives or actions, because the situations get too confusing. We can’t mix up our misconceptions with what are truly mistakes. Probably our anxiousness to shadow untruthfulness, is our own confused state of mind regarding the matter. We likely would rather pretend we don’t understand or we haven’t all of the facts to voice an opinion. This alleviates guilt and emotional pain.

Dare one to accept a forthright person searching for honesty. We perhaps dislike these truthful speaking people because they fire up our own consciences. Our government is at times, not honest with us. They feel we can’t face the truth or wouldn’t understand it. Our families hide facts out of pride, or again with the attitude of saving us pain. One must guess how much truth we actually acquire in the course of a single day.

No wonder we have no faith. If we believe others are always out to get us, then life becomes a harsh, cold battlefield. Judgements abound, lies are professed, and faith is questionable. We all learn to distrust the teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and workers of all kinds. I sometimes feel like I am on an island, with only myself to depend on. Why I question, is it so difficult to listen to a blunt person who states facts.

Deep down do we want to keep the knowledge at bay? I suppose our morality may come into question and we certainly don’t want to deal with that. So it leaves us with the option of pretending everything is okay, and allowing life to move along as it always has, without doubting or trying to ask those meaningful questions.

It seems as though the questions that entertain a straightforward answer, may promote integrity and alleviate blame. Likely the parents who genuinely take the truth and work things out with their child, are giving their child more values to call upon when required. Perhaps all of the reflection may produce more thought processes and allow us to travel down unused paths. We may find that truth is easier to deal with than all of the lies or bending of the truths.

Generating pride in honesty and truthfulness may promote values worth establishing throughout society. Evolving into a society ridden with integrity, is challenging, and it takes courage. Transformation can be worthwhile but is never easy. Staying in the state we are in promotes stagnation. Having the strength and courage to attempt something inspirational and emotionally satisfying, lifts us out of the darkness and into the light. Spreading decency throughout our daily lives gets rid of the clouds of doubt. The fuzziness is gone and we can work together for solutions. The fault-finding and fear are alleviated while a candid open living emerges.

The festering anger is openly discussed, and treated with care. The lies and distrust are turned into a tolerance and respect for failure, and support of a renewed effort. The false pride of ego connected to power, is transformed into  humility in accepting our flaws with grace. After all, we never let our guard down with those we believe to be better.  I’d like to see trust, honesty, integrity and humility incorporated into my life. If those virtues were returned to me, how comforting it would be to be able to be myself at all times and with all people.

“Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.”    Benjamin Disraeli

“We write frankly and fearlessly but then we “modify” before we print.”    Mark Twain

“Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it.”    Mark Twain

“One  must have chaos in oneself to be able  to give birth to a dancing star.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

“In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

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