Tag Archive | truth

Seeing Things As They Are

One trait that will truly advance you in life, dear reader, is the ability to see things as they really are instead of how you may wish them to be or assume them to be.

 

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Such objectivity requires maturity and even courage in many situations, and is harder to practice than it is to understand.

“One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.” – Sun Tzu

Facing the truth of a situation is the first step towards any kind of progress or change.  And it is often difficult, even scary.  It means shattering a bit of your own ego, and while it will benefit you in the long-run, the immediate effect can be intense pain.  To admit to yourself something true that you don’t like hurts.  It also means that you’re no longer giving yourself the option to tolerate it – admitting the truth to yourself often forces you into change, change that you may not feel ready for; to let go of the false illusion you’ve been holding on to will create a sense of loss that you must mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and materially deal with.

 

Something I definitely always do to calm me during moments of shyness:

 

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” – Confucius

For example, admitting to yourself that your relationship is rocky and has more downs than ups will create pain, especially if you have been pretending things are perfect and rationalizing it to yourself for a long time.  What’s more, when you truly look at the situation for what it is, you will realize that you are losing something that you never fully had in reality, but only thought you did.  It is actually a gain, but it won’t feel like it at the time.

As long as you pretend and lie to yourself, the more you rob yourself of the chance for real progress and greater happiness.

 

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“The wise men of antiquity, when they wished to make the whole world peaceful and happy, first put their own States into proper order.  Before putting their States into proper order, they regulated their own families.  Before regulating their families, they regulated themselves.  Before regulating themselves, they tried to be sincere in their thoughts.  Before being sincere in their thoughts, they tried to see things exactly as they really were.” – Confucius

You must have the courage, dear reader, to face the truth and the confidence that you will be able to handle the consequences.  If you can’t handle the truth, you won’t be able to handle anything.

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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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