Tuesday, October 4, 2011

There Is a Goddam Difference Between Honor and Honesty

Why are people so obsessed with the character trait honesty? I honestly know no one who is completely honest. I know lots of honorable people. I have no use for anyone who isn’t honorable. But honest, come on! We all lie out our asses.

The simple truth is dishonesty makes for good friends. I am betting none of you remember the kid who told the truth and sat by you in Sunday school, but you all remember who helped you pull off the great escapade of your life. Dishonesty bonds. There is nothing quite like getting into trouble and lying your way out.

Honesty vs. honor test

If I ask, “Does this look bad?”

You do not say, “It looks like hell.” which is the honest answer.

You say, “Perhaps you should go for a more modest look.”

Now that is some good lying. You are "a first class, good as they come" liar.

If I ask any question of a friend, he, she, or it should do the honorable thing. Be comforting, supportive, and kind. In other words, lie like “a sum beech”.

If you went around telling the truth you would never get anywhere. You see someone approaching. He says, “Hi, how ya doin’?” He is not being honest. He neither wants to know nor cares if menstrual cramps are bothering me. He does not want to hear that I am constipated due to a tendency to get anally retentive over people who are too honest.

He wants to hear, “Much better since I ran into you.” This is dishonest, but it is admirable and honorable thing to do. We all feel much better.

This is the kind of person I seek out for friendship. He does not need to know why I am sad. He needs to prepare to kick somebody’s ass for causing it. He does not need to know why I feel like dancing; he kicks off his shoes and joins in. He sees my smile: he smiles back. He sees my shoulders slump: I get a hug. He sees I did something wrong, he is prepared to lie to the end of the earth for me. A person of honor reacts to my exploits or achievements with enthusiasm and never shoots me off my cloud. That is honorable. The person who is honest would say, "You are not a kid anymore. Stop being childish. Act mature. Quit whining. Your waist is bigger than when you were 25. You have past the halfway mark of your life. We’re all going to die."

I would rather have a friend who lies for me about where I was and what I was doing, a friend who portrays me in a more favorable light than the always honest one. Even Abe couldn’t cut. I would pick Bill Clinton for a best bud over Abe Lincoln. I wonder if Honest Abe honestly criticized that young Boothe man’s acting.

No comments: