13.02.2020

Principle #3 - Speak the truth

 Show Interest

Principle #3 - Speak the truth

 Show Interest

An excerpt from my mini-book: The Manifesto: 12 Principles for living a heroic life in the
21st Century


Principle #3 - Speak the truth
.

 

It takes courage to speak the truth when it is needed and even more to speak wisely. No one except for maybe your mother, unless you have a mother like mine, whereby she tells me the full unadulterated truth at all times, (which if I’m honest is so refreshing). No one else gives a sh@# about your opinions. There is an art to being truthful yet eloquent whereby you do not take pride in hurting people’s feelings just because they are Social Justice warriors, vegans, cross-fitters or worse… all three. It takes a bit of decorum to be honest and yet truthful to what you hold dear. This is, however, a skill to be learnt. What do I mean by this? Surely just speaking what you hold to be the truth is enough? No, it is not. Let me explain;

During a past life, I took some time to teach children the English language and sports in Thailand. On one particular day, I noticed that the Thai teachers were getting the children to draw a scenic view from their minds to expand their creativity, great. However, on closer inspection, many of the children were drawing a blue sky which all had a red sun. So, being naturally curious, I inquired as to why all of the children were drawing a red sun. The answer I got was somewhat perplexing to me. The Thai teacher said, “Well that’s because the sun is red!”

I then tried to confirm what she had said by asking her if she meant the sun was red during sunset and sunrise? I was hoping to show off my boring knowledge as to why the sun is red during these two periods, with regards to air particles and light frequency, but alas. Her answer was; Nope, the sun was ALWAYS red! Luckily, I was wearing a bright red t-shirt and I tried to confirm whether I had made the mistake in our language barrier and my pidgeon Thai, and asked her what colour was my top? She replied; “That sir, is a red top!” I then asked her; So, what is the colour of the sun? She reiterated her original answer “It’s red!” Getting quite irate now, I asked “OK, but what colour is it now (this time being early afternoon). She replied, and get this... “Oh you can’t possibly see it now it would burn your eyes out, but if you could it would be red!!!!”

My conclusion to this story was, never argue with people that do not have any reason. I think it was Mark Twain who said: “Never argue with stupid people, they will only drag you down to their level, and beat you with experience.” A very true statement.  

As a rule, to myself, I have kept this incident in my head and I use it whenever I come across a similar incident. I call this “The sun is red.” moment. If I am discussing something with someone and or listening to them, and I can see that their opinions and views are so far from anything I would agree with, or have any common ground to make a serious conversation, I simply offer them “Yes, the sun is red isn’t it.” And with that I excuse myself.

When thinking about this principle, make a point of informing everyone your intentions and that from now on you are going to speak the truth, no matter what. No more white lies to appease people and be the popular kid. Be true to yourself and always speak the truth. Explain to people close to you and who you care about, what you are trying to do and explain why, if necessary. This holds you accountable. Also, inform them that because of this ‘new you’, they should not come to you for advice if they just want reassuring and comfort. But only to come to you if they are seeking the real truth. Be careful never to preach and to always add “In my opinion.” Or if you are stating a fact “Apparently.” This is not a cop-out but it covers you from being an opinionated ass. I should know.

Luckily for me, I had friends that would love to call me out on my BS, whenever I stated something as fact! And they would simply ‘Google’ it. This is an excellent practice to follow in fact, not only for yourself but also for your close friends.

 

So, for this principle what I would like you to do is the following;

 

  1. Speak your truth - inform everyone what you are doing and explain how they can deal with this. And then start to think about every time you are by being extremely polite, lying to people. Do not make the error of thinking a white lie is acceptable because it isn’t. It’s a slippery slope. And also, incredibly arrogant. Who are you to decide as to what you can lie about, using the excuse of not wanting to hurt someone else’s feelings, if said politely and without malice, the truth is refreshing and true friends will thank you for it and you will build up a solid reputation for being a hard hitter, no BS guy. If you have been extremely polite and have thought about your words before you utter them if the person who has received the truth becomes upset or is hurt by what you have said, firstly that is their problem and secondly, even better perhaps you could talk with them and find out why they became so distressed by what you had said. Not with the aim of changing your truth, but helping them to understand that sometimes the truth can set you free. And not to be so sensitive in the future. 
  2. Play the ‘Let’s Google that shall we’ game. Whenever you make a “factual” statement or anytime your close friends make a “factual” statement, Google it and call them out on their BS! Firstly, it’s a fun game and secondly, it teaches you very quickly to manage what you say and what you preach to others.

 

Let me know on my Instagram or Facebook page. I would love to know how you get on and what steps you are taking to achieve mastery of this principle.

 

Actions

1. Write on a board, a post it note, or stick something to your fridge telling you to speak the truth.
2. make a note of the times you spoke the truth and what reactions you received
3. Play the 'Let's Google that shall we' game with your friends and then colleagues at work, be sure not to embarrass people, but explain that it's to help others to check their facts for fun. 

 

ACTION AND NOTES SECTION

 













 

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