I was recently asked why I stopped posting articles about my Adventures in Honesty project. My response: “I haven’t actively stopped posting; I just haven’t posted in a while.”
It’s amazing how capable we are of using language to elegantly avoid uncomfortable questions…
The truth is, over the last month and a half I’ve seriously considered not writing anymore articles, and the reasons are two fold:
- Publicly writing about my commitment to honesty has invited what I believe to be misdirected, unwarranted, and unfair criticism that wouldn’t have existed had I privately taken this pledge yet not openly broadcasted it.
- The simple act of taking the time to consider, author, publish, and share 1000+ word articles makes readers view honesty as a considerably more difficult endeavor to commit to than it really is, and thus they don’t.
While I have no defensible excuse for being demotivated to continue discussing my project publicly for the former (I don’t view my own personal lack of constitution as defensible since I’m able to identify and acknowledge it), I do believe I have an obligation to respond to the latter. In particular, as the de facto arbiter of truth amongst my social group, I believe I’ve been doing both this project and those who have read it over the last few months a disservice by not discussing this second reason sooner.
To this day, despite not writing anything for the last six weeks, I still get asked weekly how the project is going, as well as what’s the most difficult aspect of it. The answer is always the same: just writing about it. You see, committing to honesty has become easy. Natural. Second nature… No, first nature. Being honest is how it’s supposed to be. How we should all be. Not a novel thing to be described as “noble” or “admirable”. In fact, after having committed fully to this way of life, it is clear that I’ll never return back to the way it was before. Being honest is just too refreshing. Too constructive. Too liberating… even when strangers are unloading a tremendous amount of uncomfortable information on you out of seemingly nowhere…
The truth is, there is simply no non-selfish value to be gained by lying. To anyone. About anything.
Having realized this early into the project yet continued to write verbose (and often over-intellectualized) defenses of honesty from a philosophical perspective, I owe all of my readers an apology. The reason: Honesty is easy because it’s the right thing to do, and by over-intellectualizing its existence, I’ve made the commitment to honesty seem too difficult. It isn’t, and I certainly shouldn’t play a role in prohibiting others from jumping on the bandwagon.
So to make up for my previous indiscretions, I’m going to stop defending honesty (from an academic perspective) as a general maxim for existence in my writing. Instead, I’m going to start sharing my unfiltered personal experiences living a life of honesty. I believe by doing so, more people will realize that they too can commit to a life of candor.
But we’ll see, won’t we?