Monday, May 17, 2010

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

Bring on the revolution peeps, because 2010 is the year of truth.

I guess I forgot to mention this one in January. Becks reminded me and I think I ignored her.

But following courage (2007), imagination (2008), and love (2009) proved a sort of challenging task, until situations arose which made it clear that truth-telling became more important than anything else. Even love, because it seems to me that truth-telling is a form of love. Or maybe love is telling the truth about people. I mean, Shakespeare did say "Love is all truth." (Venus and Adonis.) Probably this is like the chicken and the egg argument and I won't really get anywhere with it. In any event, just so we're all aware, 2010's word of the year is truth.

The reason I picked truth isn't because I've got a lying problem. And it's not about the little things, you know, like telling your grandmother her chicken salad is the best you've ever tasted, I'm not talking about those kinds of things.

I'm talking about the messes. You know, the kind of mess we humans get ourselves into all of the time. Sticky, gummy, gross. Hurt feelings, untrusting-ness, suspicions, accusations, and all that good stuff flying around.

Last year I learned about such a mess. People I love had been lying. To themselves, to each other, to their friends. The specifics of the situation don't really matter, but the outcome of it does. It's not totally finished, of course, because humans take a long time to clean up stuff, and some things take a good looooooooooooong while.

My general feeling about such messes is that they are WAY EASIER to clean up when folks come clean and are honest about them. You know, the truth will set you free and all that jazz. But I am learning not everyone feels that way. And in regards to that particular mess, not everyone feels that way. Some people would like to stay hiding out. Covered up. Pretending things are just fine. And I was so startled at how stark a difference the approach is - tell the truth vs. hiding out - that the word truth came down and settled on my shoulder and that was that: 2010 was going to be the year of truth.

In the midst of trying to be a good friend, I'm learning that speaking truth is important - in this case, telling someone I love them no matter what. And also that I'm not going to go along and pretend everything is fine just because that's what they think they want.

I'm also learning this is difficult stuff. I am making mistakes with it, because I am the most impatient person I know and I want it to be fixed right away. This is unrealistic, I know. I want it anyway. But it's a delicate thing, telling someone you love them, then not agreeing with the choices they make, and then figuring out how to still be their friend when they don't do what you hope for. It's not like every time you see them you can say, hey, by the way, I don't like what you're doing here. They know how you feel already. You don't have to tell them five times.

I guess the biggest thing I am learning is that we see the people we love with a kind of vision they don't always see themselves with. Usually that's good - we can see their full potential, the beauty they bring to the world and their place in it, a place that no one else can quite take.

I think telling the truth involves holding a mirror up to that vision, so that people can see themselves in it, and claim it for themselves.

And I think holding mirrors up is hard. But also revolutionary - truth telling results in radical change, peeps.

So revolutionize this year. Tell the truth.

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