I thought I had found the light. I mean, who wouldn’t? After about nine years trapped in an unsatisfying relationship -and life-, I finally had the balls to set myself free. And with an important lesson learned: never to lie. Not ever. Not to anyone, especially myself. Oh, boy, I was so inspired! I even wrote Lying, an article to explain my whole theory, willing to inspire others on this truth seeking quest.
Further along the way, more people joined me. “Honesty, what a precious thing!” we all thought. Because it was indeed quite a change. Society had imposed this bad habit to us, so overcoming it was not only for our own sake, but more like a rebellion. Truth was our Guy Fawkes mask -a.k.a. the Anonymous-ironically-made-in-China-mask- and we were hacking the rules, screwing up the system. I was some kind of Che Guevara with a less patchy beard and a better hairstyle. It was the shit.
But this utopia wasn’t meant to last and, like any other surreal idea -*cough* Communism*cough*-, it failed. Sure, I got to help some people while high on this enlightened state of mind, and I’m very happy for those lives I improved. Although inevitably I hit the wall of reality. One must lie.
You see, humans invented lying for a reason. It’s useful and, most of the times, even necessary. Of course I know you’ll be all judgemental now. “You talked badly of lying and now you switched to the other team” you’ll say. And I’ll joke about it and respond something like “I don’t remember coming out the closet lately.” And we’ll have a laugh -or not- and lighten up things. And I will still have to continue explaining my change of opinion.
I think my switch-over started building up not long after I became a truth Taliban. The real deal is that nothing in life is black and white. There’s a big ass grey area in which we all move around and do our deeds. And it was in this grey area in which I ended up betraying myself while betraying others. It was also there, during those dark times, when somebody finally said the words that opened my eyes to my mistake. “Just because something is true it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.” That was some wisdom right there.
With the excuse of speaking the truth people usually fuck up. Big time. Just think about it: does the other person needs to know you just took a huge shit or that last weekend you jerked off to a picture of the Pope while intoxicated with half a liter of cheap scotch? Does the girl you’ve been dating for a few weeks have to get a detailed description of the crazy sex things you’ve done on the couch she’s sitting on right now? Or is it absolutely necessary to tell your boss he is a major asshole? For all of the above I think the answer is clear as water, right? FUCK NO!
I get you. Being brutally honest feels great. But that’s only for yourself, not for the people around you. I’m not saying you should become a lying bastard instead. My humble suggestion is to lower the level of honesty you pour out there. Be considerate to those who are around you, for what’s a relief for you may -and will, most of the times- hurt them. At the end of the day it’s better to keep some things in your chest than people out of your life.
So, rounding things up and quoting a good friend’s advice, my new philosophy -and, perhaps, yours as well- can be summarized in one sentence. “If you have nothing nice to say, just keep your fucking mouth shut.” Simple, no?