What started off as your stereotypical, bistros fuelled raucous discussion; on topic most teenage boys well conversed in it. Women soon took a serious, thus unexpected turn, dumping us right in the middle of uncharted teenage boy conversation territory. This open wardrobe to a foreign land was the doing of a friend who proposed that we should be honest with the women we found attractive and just tell them and vice versa. At first I was in a position partial support, it was a great idea, but couldn’t possible translate successfully into the real world mine field that is courtship.
Then the conversation drove way past the Bermuda triangle. Took a left at Atlantis city, then down straight the street, right into the twilight zone, as one friend suggested that this idea of honesty shouldn’t be purely reserved for dating, instead should be extrapolated, encouraged and applied to all areas of life. Quite pleased with himself, he called it honest day. But once again I played the devil’s advocate and listed a whole host of reasons why it wouldn’t work; first started by saying that if you encouraged people to have complete freedom to speak their mind, in the wrong hands it could end up being volatile. Also I felt that lies were the very few things that helped maintaining balance to the world, preventing it from sinking into chaos. Then I further pleaded my case by saying that we needed lies as a form of social mask that protected us against hurtful truths that could damage our confidence and self-esteem. Then my friend proceeded to ask me why that was such a bad thing, that maybe knowing someone’s flaws from the perspective other than his own, would actually be beneficial to them and help them grow as a human been.
I was speechless; I literally had no response to this. Then like boxer, he hit me with another punch that I never saw coming, and it came in the shape of a confession of a personal nature, at first I felt uncomfortable, I was unaccustomed to sincerity of this magnitude. Could it be that this was the very first honest conversation I have ever had with a male friend, far more profound than your usual foray into sport, films or women, but instead into a conversation on a deeper plain? But even more surprising was the fact that the confessions made me see him in a different light, instead of if causing me to emotional step back, but no on the contrary I felt strangely closer to him. For the first time I saw him as a living breathing, 3 dimensional personal. With actually thoughts and feelings – like as if he were a real human being. So ask yourself, why we shouldn’t be allowed to feel this way after every conversation we have with a friend. Why rob yourself of a feeling of closeness, acceptance for who we really are and not the fake person we show the world every day encase of fear of persecution. From what I have already experienced, a honesty day would result in a lot more meaningful interaction and an increased number of profound relationships we may have. So why not actually have a day completely dedicated to being honest. As they say, honestly best policy.
Right know the naysayers are screaming at the top of their lungs every contradiction to this concept under the sun. Similar to me at first, they may start of by stating that people honesty might not all ways be constructive, that it has the potential to be destructive and hurtful. Which of course is true, not everything that people truly think about you is nice, and an honesty day will provide the haters the excuse and ideal platform to voice all these nasty comments. But on the flip side to this warranted concern, I would argue that a honesty day would mean that they would express how they truly feel, in terms of insecurities and problems to the people who actually hurt them in the first place, so when it comes down to being honest with you, they won’t have to express them through negative comments, because they would have already relieved their anger. Because at the end of the day, no one intends to hurt people feelings, but only do so when they themselves have been hurt and don’t know how to deal with it.
Enough of the negatives, so what would a said honesty day look like, is it even possible? To successfully answer questions you first have to analyse all the various situations can apply in a positive way. First let’s start off with the positives; being honest is just telling people the truth, it is also about being truthful to yourself and how you’re feelings could actually benefit each of our pre-existing relationships and friendships. For example can you remember the last honest conversation you had with your mother, and not one about who broke her favourite bowl, but actual honesty about your love life or what was on your mind. Then there are honest conversations you can have with your better half, maybe you’re having second thoughts about your relationship together, maybe they are precipitating the very same anxieties, or they might be feeling the contrary and such a revelation is heartbreaking, but ever way is it better to know now, instead of being locked down with a ball and chain in a loveless marriage. Or by airing your concerns, you can sit down with your husband or wife, and then work on a solution, maybe eventually resulting in a stronger marriage. Then similarly to my experience, honest conversation with your friends can lead to a greater appreciation and understanding, even allowing finding of things about them you never knew in the first place. And the positive effects of unflinching sincerity doesn’t just stop at your immediate encounters, its effects can be far reaching in terms of society as a whole.
Imagine for example a world where politicians could do nothing else but speak the truth, as farfetched as that may appear considering today’s current batch of shady political figures and their claiming of second homes. But if it were the case we would be able to elect our MPs, on policies they actually intend on up holding, instead of promising them and never following through. Then you have the bankers, who are also badly in need of truth serum, because I’m pretty sure that if we had honesty day just before the economic meltdown, we would have known which bad investments were hovering up our money, just in time for us to put a stop to it, thus avoiding this sinister thing called a recession.
This much need level of transparency, doesn’t just benefit us in picking politicians, and keeping tabs on bankers, it also prevents millions of girls worldwide suffering from depression and low self esteem, as they compare themselves to unrealistic standards of models and celebrities on front of magazine. Who themselves don’t even looking like their glossy front cover counterparts in real life, because the images on magazine have been so heavily nipped, tucked and sucked – but not by a plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills. But instead a computer nerd called Derek wielding a mouse and a software program called Photoshop. But don’t worry my honesty day comes to the rescue and saves the day, since under the rules of the day, no lying is permitted which means when celebrities or models are appear on the front covers of the magazines, they must appear in their natural honest, mole covered, cellulite filled, wrinkled self, so when teenage girls look for someone to aspire to and mimic, at least it gives them a fighting chance.
And finally the last and quite possibly the most significant as well as important positive reason for an honesty day is, are allowing us to be truthful with ourselves. In a mass-produced Barbie and ken doll society, it can make it rather difficult to veer from the rigid moulds forced on us by society and its strict expectations, so if you don’t look and act as one of The Brady Bunch, it can often make it hard to fit in with the general populous. So if you’re of a different, race, culture, sexuality and sometimes gender, you’re often left out in the cold. But on an honesty day I hope to stop anyone ever from feeling like an outsider, because on honesty day, you don’t have to battle to conform, instead you know who you are and you accept yourself for it. Being honest with yourself also means knowing your strengths so we can work on them, simultaneously improving on them as we go along, so in the long run it may lead to helping us achieve our dreams. Being honest with yourself also means being honest with your flaws, knowing how to overcome them or live with them, improving ourselves esteem which will have a domino effect allowing us to grow as a better human being for it.
So as you can see the positives of honesty day are wide and far reaching, it can benefit our relationships with friends, family and partners, it can restore faith in those people in charge of making decisions or handling our money. But most importantly being honest with oneself, and knowing are strengths and weakness can help us improve on our perceptions of ourselves, allowing us to become better human beings, along with helping us to achieving our desires and ambitions.