The limits of “honesty”

Many people, dear reader, use the excuse of honesty or “just telling the truth” as justification for poor etiquette and poor manners.

 

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For example, it is under no circumstances appropriate to tell someone that he or she is need of losing a few pounds (unless you are a doctor speaking to your patient, and even then it should be done with tact) no matter how true that might be.  

Other ill-advised personal opinions and comments are better kept to one-self in 99% of cases, rather than sharing (or blurting out) unwisely just because it happens to be true.

The truth, dear reader, is a power tool, but it must be used judiciously.  There is a time and a place for its release and it is wisdom and maturity that tells you when it is appropriate – that is, when it will do more good than it will cause damage.

 

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Another aspect of this issue is that of “appearances” versus the “unvarnished truth”.

Many advocate that no attempt should be made to “keep up appearances.”  While if something is truly the matter, we should never pretend it doesn’t exist or not take action to fix it, that doesn’t mean that we have to put unpleasant realities of life on display, or to tell everyone our personal business either.

“A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths.”

 

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