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Does Honesty imply Cruelty?

Morgoth IF-Rockerz

Joined: 01 June 2004
Posts: 6831

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 1:28pm | IP Logged

We've all heard the adage that "Honesty is the best policy".

The word "Honesty" in itself coincides with truth and goodness - it gives one a picture which is factual without any additions.

Your friend shows up to school wearing a horrible outfit and everyone is laughing at her. She has no idea whats wrong and she asks you to explain the joke to her. Do you lie to her and say that they were all crazy or would you explain that her outfit should be dumped into the trash?

The truth supposedly sets you free from all pretenses, but is blatant honesty apt at all times - even at the cost of hurting someone?

Lets look at a couple of instances:

Americal Idol judge Simon Cowell is famous for his brutal honesty - his words can reduce Pop-Star-Wannabes to tears. Why would he do something like that? The reason he gives is that many youngsters try to get into the music industry, attracted by all the glamour and money, but they have zero talent or charisma. Telling them that they were disastrous at the AI auditions may just be their wake-up call. They would be wiser when they come face to face with con-artists who can financially drain them.

Cowell has a good point, but It is easy to dish out criticism. One has to be on the receiving end of a critique to understand how it feels to be trashed by someone (even though it may be their honest opinion). A Diplomat's profession would have died out if criticism was so easy to digest.

Yet, at other times, some ppl are so thick-skinned that they do not understand subtler suggestions...they do need a good shock!

A particularly obnoxious person with an inflated ego (like Reggie from Archie Comics, for instance) needs to be ticked off to release some of that hot air.

Is honesty ALWAYS the best policy? Or is it ok to bend the truth a little at times?

What are your opinions on this?????

samie IF-Rockerz

Joined: 22 November 2004
Posts: 5453

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 1:44pm | IP Logged
bas02 Goldie

Joined: 06 November 2004
Posts: 2148

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 1:45pm | IP Logged
cool topic! I think that most of the time it is best to be honest otherwise you may feel you are cheating not only yourself but those that you are keeping the truth from. However there are circumstances when you do need to be blunt, cruel to be kind. In these situations not telling the truth could lead a web of lies and you could end up finding yourself in a big mess!
anitha.b IF-Dazzler

Joined: 06 September 2004
Posts: 3506

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 1:55pm | IP Logged
Very Interesting topic Mysti.

I think being honest is always better and telling the truth will keep your spirits high and also the burden off your heart.

As you said, sometimes telling the truth means hurting someone's feelings, that is where we need to be careful in how we present. But still use the truth.

I agree with bas02. It is best to be honest. It will not only reduce all the wrong happenigs, but also prepare us well enough for suitations. We learn as we go. The first step need not always be a successful.
meghavi IF-Rockerz

Joined: 21 November 2004
Posts: 8263

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 2:04pm | IP Logged

nice topic Mystica!!!

I agree with Bas02 and smisha.  Smisha said how sometimes telling the truth can hurt someones fellings, and she said that we have to becareful about how to say the truth, I agree with that.  But sometimes there is a situation, where no matter how hard you try to put the truth in a way that the persons feeling wont get hurt, you just can't do it.  In cases like that I think its okay to "bend the truth a little."  But mostly i think sticking to the truth is better.  So i think honesty is usually the best policy.

Edited by meghavi - 18 January 2005 at 3:41pm
HUMM IF-Dazzler

Joined: 06 November 2004
Posts: 2927

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 2:11pm | IP Logged
Well mystica excellent topicClapClap

Yes i totally agree that honesty is the best policy.
Talking abt the two instances you gave lemme talk abt them seperately.
1. If my friend has worn an improper dress, i'l not tell her infront of evryone and tell her so that she feels insulted.
I'l take that preson in a side explain her what a the joke all about and y r people laughing at her, so that she can rectify the mistake.. il rather not prefer to stand and laugh at my friend making her more sad!

2.Now the judge being rude at the idol program is very good, if he/she is not rude with the contestant, he will again participate, go to some other show, we have to clearly tell him in words
 ... Ur not good just leave... u can nevr sing...    first he might cry but later in life he will definately agree to what the judge said, he will soon start doing his own work!
.. or else if she shall not tell he will again start searching such shows and waste his life-time and money!

So i say "Honesty is the best policy"
abladabla Senior Member

Joined: 12 August 2004
Posts: 308

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 2:23pm | IP Logged
Nice topic Mysti. I agree with everyone that one should be honest, and would like to add that sometimes we have to sensitively deal with the issues. If we know that the other person would get hurt, we should find a more appropriate way to show the mirror to the person, in a subtle way so that the other person gets ur point and doesn't get offended or that doesn't lower his or her self in the dress example, maybe it would be good to say to your friend, that dear u have such a good dressing sense but today its not upto the mark and thats the reason people r laughing at u, cause they r always used to seeing u well dressed. maybe it helps her to understand. not sure if it'll work in all the cases though.

But ya, some people need to be given a reality check, and then u might be a little cruel in speaking the truth, but thats what they deserve.
sai14 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 03 November 2004
Posts: 3159

Posted: 18 January 2005 at 2:38pm | IP Logged
Nice topic Mystica

Well i would have to agree w/ everyone that honesty is the best policy. I think we have to be honest all the time even though it means hurt to the other person.Yes it's true that truth some times hurts, in ur examples, at that instance my friend might feel bad that i told her dress looks hideous and the contestants might feel bad about simon's honest comments. But that would be just a temporary upset.In the long run i think it would be helpful if i told my friend the truth about that dress so that she might not feel that bad and mad at herself, or we would not have a lot of aspiring singers who just don't have the talent and who become depressed later on in life

For me, i would want the person i love or my family to be truthful. If i ask my husband how does this dress look on me, even though that dress looks hideous on me, i don't want him to say oh honey, it looks beautiful on you.cause thinking that his judgement is ture i might go to the party w/ that dress and have ppl stare at me. It's true i might feel bad at that moment, but it will help me in the long run. But one thing i would say is it has to be constructive criticism. Not just say oh u r the most horrible singer in the whole world, or u just look ugly in that dress!. It has to be in a way that it's truthful yet constructive. For example when i ask my brother how do i look in a particular outfit, and if it looks bad on me he says i have seen you in better things. I think that's the way honesty should be

So to summarize i think we should be always honest no matter what!! Smile

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