On December 26th, 2008, on my dad’s birthday, I did something that was a result of exactly the opposite of everything I believed in. I grew up being taught, in school and at home, that honesty is a virtue. It is a moral code everyone should live by and follow. It is the essence of everything beautiful in life. Just like the innocence of children.
Growing up being honest was not easy, of course, with many of whom I have come in contact with being anything but honest. I persevered and decided to do what I believed was right.
That was until I entered a serious relationship (as serious as a guy in his early 20s could have), when confusion set in and became delusional and thought that maybe a bit of dishonesty might work. It was a sweet relationship that blossomed in spring and withered in winter. It was a perfect cycle with the seasons, really. The rosy infatuation in spring, the carefree summer love, the reflections of autumn and the bitterness of winter, which ended on that December on my dad’s birthday.
Because I was dishonest, not only with her, but with myself, mostly.
I made the conscious decision to return back to what I believed in.
Yes, I do my best to be brutally honest. I do not have to spill my guts out to everyone, but I am honest with myself, or, rather, always putting effort into being honest with myself. I am diplomatic if I have to relay a dislike on a subject matter (if people are involved that is), but I am not an ass kisser, I don’t suck up, I don’t pretend. If I am very nice to you it is because I like you.
Someone I am close friends with asked me to be very honest about certain issues. Fine, very good. When I was honest, I got thanked for being so yet at the same time I was condemned for having been. It was like being told “I want you to be honest but please don’t be honest with me”. I then tried to be “smart” on what to be honest about (which is dishonesty, disguised), and that did not work out either.
Another example: I read somewhere that honesty at work is one of the best virtues employers seek out these days. My experiences so far, bar a few, indicate that they’d like to hear what you memorized off of websites and assure them they were right in their judgement by having you on board. I have had some good experiences where I got thanked for being honest, regardless of the outcome.
It felt odd being thanked for being honesty. In fact, it worried me that I should be thanked for being honest. Was I doing you a favour by being honest? Have I gone out of my way? Or has honesty become so extraordinarily odd that I have to be handed out certificates of appreciation sometime soon?
The past two months have been filled with these instances in almost every aspect of my life. I do not work in PR and so I lack the tongue to twist and turn things around to say in an elaborate “positive” thesis what could be said in a single, straight, and clear sentence.
Alright here is the deal. Personally, I would rather enjoy a clear conscience than build up stacks of bullshit with every person I encounter. I’ve been doing it for a while now and, though it does upset me and some others at some instances, I know I am doing the right thing and I can sleep with a peaceful mind. It is my right to be selfish on this basic matter.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely – Proverbs 10:9من يسلك بالاستقامة يسلك بالأمان – الأمثال ١٠:٩
And if you don’t like it, honestly, and with all due respect, go and make room in my life for someone who does. That’s my diplomatic way for “fuck off”.