‘Honesty’ is the topic chosen this week by Magical Mystical Mimi for TheWriters’ Post. In her blog Mimi talks about how young children are invariably honest in what they say – sometimes to the extreme embarrassment of their parents (as in: “Mummy, why is that lady so fat?” or, to their first grade teacher, “My daddy jumps up and down on the bed with mummy.” - !!)
Somewhere along the line, we learn to think before we speak, not to make personal remarks to or about other people, to be tactful, to take care not to hurt others’ feelings. In doing so, we learn about ‘little white lies’.
If we tell someone their dress/hairstyle/whatever looks great when in fact we think it doesn’t really suit them, how honest are we being? Maybe it depends on how well we know the person, as to whether we’re tactful or 'brutally' honest with them.
Do I tell someone on Facebook that the cover of their book would not make me buy the book in a million years? Some covers (and blurbs) are a complete turn-off for me. Am I being dishonest by saying nothing?
If I read a novel that I find weak/boring/poorly written do I write an honest review giving the reasons why I disliked it? The reverse side, of course, is that it would be dishonest to write a glowing review and/or give the book five stars.
I believe that we should use honesty to encourage, not criticize; to build someone up, not tear them down. As Thumper said in ‘Bambi’, “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.”