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Tina Moore

Creator / Founder / Author, the40by40

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Do you believe that the truth will set you free? (Even if telling the truth may hurt another person(s)?

I'm curious to know what people think about telling the truth at all times...I think we are all guilty to some extent of telling 'harmless lies' about whether you like someone's cooking, hairdo or boyfriend. Or even the simple question, "how are you today? responding with "I'm good!" when in reality you feel sad, lonely or frustrated. But that's not the answer the grocery clerk is really looking for is it? So does the truth set you free or does it make life more complicated? All thoughts, insights and experiences are greatly appreciated and respected. Thank you!

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  • Nov 10 2011: I believe that knowing the truth will set ME free. The more difficult question is whether speaking the truth to someone else will set THEM free.
    If the truth in question is personal information about yourself ("my life totally sucks"), there may be no value in expressing it; if the truth in question is a response to a personal question about someone else, kindness may be more important than truth.
    But if the question is non-personal, I think that whether or not we should speak the truth depends on three things: how universal is the truth; how judgmental is the truth; and how willing is the questioner is to have their own beliefs questioned.
    The first focuses on whether my truth is objective, subjective, or belief-based (the moon is not made of green cheese, I don't like green cheese, or God created green cheese). The second deals with bias and opinion (only idiots believe that God created anything, much less green cheese). Lastly, the third evaluates the potential impact of the truth; i.e., does the listener really want to hear what you believe is true? (does it crush a child's fantasy about a green cheese moon). This is a judgement call hopefully informed by prior dealings with that person.
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      Nov 11 2011: Hi David, thanks for your response...I find your answer intriguing because of your first statement:
      "I believe that knowing the truth will set ME free"....so if that's the case, would you want someone to tell you the truth even if it was difficult?

      Based on my past and the things I've been through, I would have appreciated the honesty...would I have listened to it? Well, that is an entirely different question...in my 20's probably not...after that, I'd hope so!
      • Nov 11 2011: I do appreciate hearing the truth, even though it can hurt -- or be hurtful. I'm big on knowing myself.
        Having said that, I know that I am often guilty of believing that I'm "right" -- and therefor sometimes don't credit criticism or perceived criticism received from others. But I do try hard to hear it so that I can question my own assumptions and biases.
        Personally, I know that I was almost always right when I was in my 20s. Now in my 50s -- not so much. 8^)
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          Nov 14 2011: Great answer, thanks David! :))

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