Have you seen the recent television ad with Abe Lincoln and his wife? She asks him if the dress she is wearing makes her look fat. Honest Abe timidly with his hands indicates “a little”, and she storms off.
Is honest Abe really being honest or is he being truthful?
Truth is, as true or actual state of a matter.
Honesty is being honourable in principles, intentions and actions. One can be truthful in what they say, but not honest in their intent.
“Do these jeans make me look fat?”
“No, the jeans don’t make you look fat!”
(The responder is telling the truth, it’s not the jeans that make the wearer look fat. But if they were being honest they would have replied, “No, the jeans don’t make you look fat – it’s just you that’s fat!”)
So good ole Honest Abe, was not being so honest, he was being truthful.
A Few years ago, while my children were in elementary school, one of my neighbors had a Christmas cookie exchange.
This woman had just applied to our school for her daughter and had not been accepted. NOTICE I did not say rejected. NO ONE CAN REJECT YOU WITH OUT YOUR PERMISSION!
As the evening progressed, and the wine flowed and the gossip… oops… “talk” became more dramatic, this woman, lets call her Janet, had a big revelation about our school.
This was it… she KNEW on excellent AUTHORITY, that our High School Kids were ALL having sex behind the Gym.
” YES” she expounded ” REALLY!”
There were several Moms at this party whose kids went to the school in question. I noticed that NOT a SINGLE one of us tried to refute this woman… including myself. She went on and on and…. then something came to life in me!
I KNEW that taking her on directly would be a mistake. Then it would be a side show. So here is what the conversation looked like for the next few minutes…
Me ” Wow Janet, this is really BAD. This school is really allowing such behavior?”
Janet ” Yes, it is and that is why we have decided that it is a GOOD thing that we will not be going there!”
Me” I am so grateful to you for pointing this out. I don’t know if you KNOW that I am GREAT friends with the Head Master and The Admissions Director”… I was not this was a LIE!… ” so I am going to call them up tomorrow and tell them what YOU have DISCOVERED and tell them to CALL you for more details, since you clearly are CONCERNED for our High School Kids. And I will also TELL them that you are RELIEVED that you were REJECTED” by the school. OH Janet, Thanks for caring for our kids.”
YOU COULD HEAR A PIN DROP!
All eyes were trained on her and we all waited for her response.
Her jaw dropped to the ground and NO WORDS were coming out of her mouth.
She tried to catch her breath and finally said
” Well, I , umm, well I don’t think, well you see I really don’t…” I went to get some more wine and I did not hear what else she had to say.
I left shortly after and did not get invited to any more cookie exchanges.
PLEASE do yourself a favor this holiday
When someone presents you with AN IRREFUTABLE TRUTH… please take a page from my book and offer to do them a favor by broadcasting it to their whole world!
BECAUSE IF SOMETHING IS TRUE… IT IS TRUE and we should stand by it! Otherwise it is malicious gossip and that is toxic to our soul.
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