Erin Ollila said that to me when I told her how strongly I felt about April’s theme of honesty.
I’ve had a tough relationship with honesty throughout my life. I was a scared kid. I didn’t want to say how I felt or admit that I did something wrong for fear of getting in trouble. That scared kid turned into a closed off young adult who would rather take the passive route than just say what I wanted to. It got me in some pretty messed up situations because I wasn’t honest with myself or others. After being in a short yet damaging abusive relationship, I decided that enough was enough. I was going to live my life honestly, to myself and others.
According to Wikipedia, honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also includes being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.
The word that stood out to me in that definition is straightforwardness. I notice there are a lot of good people who are really bad at being honest. They don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings so it is easier to hide under the guise of compassion than to be truthful. They tiptoe around the issue without actually saying anything helpful. And then here I come and just say it like it is. Straightforward and the point. It can definitely be off-putting (to say the very least) to whoever is on the other end of my real talk - people definitely aren’t expecting it.
But it makes me wonder why it is so surprising when someone speaks truthfully? What happened to being honest? It doesn’t mean that everyone is lying, cheating, horrible people. Quite the opposite, I do believe people are getting kinder (even in this twisted world we are living in). I feel somewhere along the way people equated honesty with being mean and that is so far from the truth. Being honest with someone is the most loving thing you can do for another person. So why are so many people scared to do it?
This month on The Lady Project Blog we are discussing honesty. From relationships we have with others to honesty in the workplace to being honest with ourselves and everything in between. I’d like to see us all come to a place where we are comfortable with the uncomfortable truth.
April is also Arab American Heritage Month. We will be featuring twelve amazing Arab women from around the world that you should know. From activists to artists, these women are using their truths to change the world.