Wise Words on Honesty
“Untruth, However Well-Meant, Can Produce Unintended Consequences” (JP)
I soon came to realize that almost everything I said was untrue. I had motives for saying these things: I wanted to win arguments and gain status and impress people and get what I wanted. I was using language to bend and twist the world into delivering what I thought was necessary. But I was a fake. Realizing this, I started to practice only saying things that the internal voice would not object to. I started to practice telling the truth—or, at least, not lying. I soon learned that such a skill came in very handy when I didn’t know what to do. What should you do, when you don’t know what to do? Tell the truth...Taking the easy way out or telling the truth—those are not merely two different choices. They are different pathways through life.
You can use words to manipulate the world into delivering what you want. This is spin. It's what everyone does when they want something, and decide to falsify themselves to please and flatter. It's scheming and... propaganda.
"Don't Be Your Own Worst Enemy"
Who has deceiv'd thee so oft as thy self?
"Skip The Embellishment"
To exaggerate is to weaken
Jean Fracois de La Harpe
Eddie Haskell, the neighborhood ne’er-do-well, at the Cleaver’s front door: “Oh, hello, Mrs. Cleaver. That’s a lovely dress you’re wearing today. I wonder if Wallace might be home today, and if I might have a word with him.” Eddie walks into Wally’s room: “Wally, if your dumb brother tags along with us, I’m gonna—oh, hello again, Mrs. Cleaver. I was just telling Wallace how pleasant it would be for Theodore to accompany us to the movies.”
“Integrity” comes from the Latin for “whole,” and that’s instructive to me. I want to be a person of “integrity,” not of spare parts hanging out all over the place that need to be constantly tucked back in, like Scarecrow stuffing his shirt in The Wizard of Oz. It’s too much work to keep up a split personality that poses one way with one person and another way with another person. I have done that for most of my life, in degrees shading from blatant to subtle, and I want to be done with it now.
I notice that the Apostle Paul was a person of “integrity,” or “wholeness.” He didn’t care who he was with. He was Paul. He was the same with “those who seemed to be pillars” (Galatians 2:9) and “those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me . . .)” (2:2,6).
Peter and Barnabas may have had more of a struggle with integrity than Paul, as we learn from an anecdote in which they were rebuked by him for seeing Gentiles socially when the big shots from Jerusalem were not around, but drawing back when they would come. Paul said they were acting “hypocritically” (2:13), which is a word deriving from the Greek for “actor,” and suggesting “pretending.” So there again, we have an issue of “wholeness,” or lack thereof. The hypocrite is two people—or perhaps an infinite number of people.
If you think it is hard to be a person of integrity, it is harder work to not be. To turn on a dime and change your voice from Maude Frickert to Marilyn Monroe when the phone rings and then back to Maude with the children you were just yelling at is embarrassing and ultimately stressful. Jesus called us to peace, and maybe integrity is part of what he had in mind.
"The Secret Of Genius"
The secret of genius is...first, last, midst, and without end, to honor every truth by use.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Face The Facts"
To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, to imagine your facts is another.
"Say It. Do It.
A fool and his words are soon parted.
"Be Gentle, Yet Frank, Frank."
I am for frank explanations with friends in cases of affronts. They sometimes save a perishing friendship, and even place it on a firmer basis than at first; but secret discontent must always end badly.
"Why Do People Lie?"
Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another.
A lie has speed, but the truth has endurance.
Edgar J. Mean
“Cease To Utter Falsehoods”
If you cease to utter falsehoods and live according to the dictates of your conscience, you can maintain your nobility, even when facing the ultimate threat; if you abide, truthfully and courageously, by the highest of ideals, you will be provided with more security and strength than will be offered by any short-sighted concentration on your own safety; if you live properly, fully, you can discover meaning so profound that it protects you even from the fear of death...Bread is of little use to the man who has betrayed his soul, even if he is currently starving...