Have you ever tried to help someone improve or grow but they think it is offensive? Some people find it insulting when they are called out on something they did wrong. I have found that being honest about yourself is almost the only thing you can be honest about when you talk to people. The problem with most people today is that they find most things offensive.
I have learned that honesty is the best policy, but when talking to people, you can’t be completely honest. Especially when they ask you to be brutally honest, you can’t, because it hurts their feelings.
I personally have not had extreme cases of this. I am told I will once I get a job, though. You can get fired for explaining that something isn’t right, or saying “this could be better”. I know an individual who is being watched for doing his job. He is supposed to read over manuals not yet published and point out inadequacies. Someone then complained that he was being “harsh”. Now his bosses say that he must suggest possible corrections (which means that they don’t have to do them) and be indirect in saying that the manual needs to be fixed.
When he relayed this experience I discovered that some people shun the truth when it is somewhat painful to others. Now I believe we should all ask ourselves, what is more important, being honest, or not telling the truth and not hurting someone’s feelings? The answer seems to vary from experience to experience. Only good judgment will tell us the answer in those instances.
Now I believe that most people are too stubborn to accept help on improving and/or growing from any other person. They are not open-minded enough to accept that they are wrong. They should fix themselves to the best of their ability, or they can’t be the best person that they can be. People should be flexible and should accept help from people who are more wise then them, because then the world would be a much more pleasant and pleasurable place to be.
My philosophy won’t work in the real world. In an ideal world, where everyone desires to learn and desires to mature from the integrity of others, people would be much better-off and try to strive for excellence; Instead of sitting on the couch watching television and eating chips all day. Unfortunately, people today won’t acknowledge the wisdom of other people. So now all we can do is educate younger generations in hopes that they can bring this renaissance.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.