This I Believe

Anna - Whitefish, Montana
Entered on November 30, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I am a candid person. Blatant rudeness and frank honesty are the polar ends of this rare human quality. People consider this characteristic positively when used to compliment, but negatively when the result is not appeasing. Speaking the truth is commended or punished; never accepted at face value. My numerous experiences and observations support this pragmatic philosophy.

At an early age, my blunt nature formed. My older sister, Jessie, was the typical rebellious teenager with such characteristics as: moody, disrespectful, selfish, and scornful. Multiply hormones by ten, add in a grouchy morning syndrome, and that would’ve equaled my sister. She lied to our parents with ease, and she treated them with disdain. Such deception and disgust ate away at my family, so I despised my sister for pumping it into our home like a heart with blood. My solution: be the opposite of Jessie. I told the truth and behaved for my parents. No matter the question, I would spit out my answer without hesitation. Later, I discovered finesse is an irreplaceable value.

When I was twelve, a woman reacted rashly to a bold statement of mine. While attending a cousin’s reception, I conversed with an older woman from the other family. The woman asked what faith I practiced, and I casually said, “Religion is a security blanket. I’m an atheist, not a fool.” The woman glared down her nose and turned a frightful shade of red. Nearby conversations were paused while I quietly accepted the religious woman’s ranting. I’ve since learned to use common sense, avoid insulting people, and keep my answers brief.

Nowadays, my observations reinforce my abnormal behavior. Faux compliments, passive answers, and nervous laughs are unlike reactions with the same clear meaning: they are all examples of working dishonesty. The human majority will plaster false grins upon their faces, and perform like machinery. I’ve seen the most unique and outspoken people lie down, and let the world walk over them in order to keep the peace. To watch people degrade themselves to avoid conflict is unsettling, and to witness the murder of a person’s character is agonizing; however, to see them strangle themselves with a rope made from dishonesty is unbearable.

An enjoyable pastime of mine is examining a person’s reaction to my candid statements. It allows me to briefly gaze at their character. Some people don’t flinch when I calmly state my ideas, while others descend into volatile fits. To avoid an argument, I no longer brandish my opinions needlessly. Whether I’m praising a deed, or insulting a skill, I will give a straight answer when asked. Trying to change a stubborn mind is useless.