Candor: The Honest
Dishonesty is Rampant. Dishonesty is Temporary. Dishonesty Makes Evil Possible.
As it stands now, lies pervade society, families, and even the internal life of the individual. One group lies to another group, parents lie to children, children lie to parents, friends lie to friends, individuals lie to themselves. Dishonesty has become so integral to the way we relate to one another that we rarely find ourselves in authentic relationships with others. Our dark secrets remain our own. Yet it is our dark secrets that cause conflict. When we are dishonest with the people around us, we begin to hate ourselves for lying; when we are dishonest with ourselves, we can never even attempt to correct the flaws we find within us, the flaws we are so desperate to hide from our loved ones, the flaws that make us lie.
What has become clear is that lies are just a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Lying to spare a person’s feelings, even when the truth would help them to improve, damages them in the long run. Lying to protect yourself lasts for so long before the truth emerges. Like a wild animal, the truth is too powerful to remain caged. These are examples we can clearly see in our own lives, yet we fail to understand that they do not just apply to the dynamic between ourselves and our neighbors, or ourselves and our friends.
What is society but a web of individual-to individual relationships? And what is conflict except one’s person’s dark secret crashing into another person’s dark secret? Dishonesty is a veil that shields one person from another. Dishonesty allows evil to persist, hidden from the eyes of those who would fight it.
Dishonesty Leads to Suspicion. Suspicion Leads to Conflict. Honesty Leads to Peace.
We have a vision of an honest world. In this world, parents do not lie to their children, and children do not lie to their parents; friends do not lie to one another; spouses do not lie to each other. When we are asked our opinions we are free to give them without having to consider any other responses. When we are asked our opinions we are free to give them without having to consider any other responses. When we engage in conversation with to others, we do not have to evaluate their intentions, because they are transparent. We have no suspicion, and no one suspects us.
And most of all–yes, above all else–we are free to expose our dark secrets because we know the dark secrets of our neighbors, our friends, our spouses, our children, our parents, and our enemies. We know that while we are flawed in a unique way, we are not unique because we are flawed. Therefore we can be authentic. We have no suspicions. And we are at peace with those around us.
Truth Makes Us Transparent. Truth Makes Us Strong. Truth Makes Us Inextricable.
We will raise our children to tell the truth. We will do this by encouraging them to speak their minds at every moment. For the child, withholding words is the same as lying.
We will be honest with our children even at the expense of their feelings. The only reason people cannot bear honesty now is because they were not raised hearing the truth about themselves, and they can’t stand to. If children are raised to hear both honest praise and honest criticism, they will not be so fragile as to crumble beneath the scrutiny of their peers. A life of truth makes us strong.
Adulthood will be defined as a time at which each member of society is capable of bearing every other member’s dark secrets, just as every other member will bear theirs. Therefore each member will be subjecting to The Full Unveiling, in which every hidden part of their life is laid bare before their fellow members. They, too, will see the hidden parts of their fellow members’ lives. In this way we bear one another’s secrets. In this way we become inextricable.