It is as easy as lying.

The This American Life story about a guy who’d been raised to be 100% honest ended up demonstrating what a lot of value there is in lying. This guy basically had to learn how to lie or perhaps even more importantly, to not tell the truth all the time.

I was struck by the way he learned that total honesty was essentially selfish – that it meant he was not considering how others might feel when he expressed himself. And that’s what it can be – expressing one’s self – without much attention on how one’s self might impact another. Every “honest” person I’ve ever met proves this theory. The people who regularly defend their cruelty with “I’m just being honest” are habitually unconcerned with other people’s feelings. It presumes a kind of moral high ground, a superiority over the poor thin skinned other who just can’t handle the truth.
And certainly at some point honesty is more important than feelings – but the reverse is also true – and this guy’s journey makes that clear.

For some lying is easy. For some honest is easier. Depends on your bias toward your own truth or other people’s feelings.


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