If you are not honest with yourself and others…it seems that you are choosing to prolong your inevitable confrontation with the present moment. You’re kicking it down the road. And by choosing dishonesty, you’re certainly choosing a new road to travel on. Not a newly constructed road, but one that’s muddy, one that’s crumbling apart. And when you see that little can of truth in your path again, pleading with you to open it up and deal with it…your tendency will be to look around if anyone’s watching, and kick it further down the road, prolonging the inevitable once more. To add to the adversity, you’ll want to hide that can from others…or dealing with that can of truth will affect your present experience…and you don’t want to deal with that either. Therefore, your inclination will to choose dishonesty again…in other areas. Avoiding the truth, or lying, has a negative compounding effect. You don’t want to be on that path. And by the way, others can see that you’re on that road. If they’re weak and destructive, they’ll want to join you, magnifying your reach. They’ll help you dig your hole. If they’re wise though, and headed toward light and purpose, they’ll avoid you. They’ll choose to spend less time around you, acknowledging your negative influence on them.
Choosing honesty and truth can be very challenging. For most experiences within your day, truth is a given…it’s your default. It’s practical and efficient to use the truth, as it allows us to communicate and function within our social environment. But for other experiences, you certainly have to ‘work through’ how to identify, engage with, and interact with using the truth…or not.
Your wife asks, ‘Do I look good in this dress?’
You walk out of a deli with change in your pocket, and a homeless person asks, ‘do you have any change to spare?’
You ask yourself, ‘am I going to follow through with that same New Year’s resolution this year?’
Let’s think about the second question there…dealing with the homeless person. How would you respond? Most of us would either say yes, and simply give that person the change…or we’d say, ‘no, sorry’ and keep walking. Well technically, that would be a lie. We actually do have some change…we probably can spare it…but we say that we don’t. What’s happening here is partly that we really just don’t want to take the time to get at the real truth. We don’t want to stop and have a conversation with this person. We have other stuff to do! But more of what is happening here, is that we don’t want to deal with the adversity and chaos that the truth in this engagement will actually bring. So, we use a dishonest reply.
You might say, ‘it doesn’t matter…they’re not getting the money, and they don’t need to know the real reason.’ I’d highly encourage you to think deeply about this response. I’d encourage you to think about the subtle and/or strong effect that response will have on the homeless person…on your child…on you. Again, this is more difficult, but I think it brings much more value to your perspective.
The real and honest answer to this person’s request for your change is probably, ‘yes, I do have money to spare, but I don’t want to give it to you. Also, I don’t like you coming so close to me and my young son…because you’re dirty and you might be dangerous.’ As you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, ‘wow, that sounds harsh.’ I urge you to consider and accept that you may identify with these harsh feelings. It’s not a fun place to go, but it’s helpful to realize the truth within your ability to classify, judge, determine, or label. The awareness found here is the foundation for honesty and truth. You may not identify with it. If you would have a different opinion to the individual asking for money…that’s great. But it’s still wise to find that edge of where we are wrestling with truth or falsities. If we can come out of that with an honest response, more power to us.
Maybe the most effective response to this person, considering all of the variables and consequences: honesty, your schedule, the presence of your young child, etc. would be one in which you use a kind, succinct, and honest remark. Maybe something like, ‘I do have change, but I’m going to put it toward my child’s future. Sorry!’ Maybe that’s too much information? Maybe you’re not actually ‘sorry’? You see, finding the truth of this moment, and actually delivering it, can be very challenging. Do what you can to get there though. Find that truth and balance it with the rest of your experience. Don’t lie. You’ll discover a more meaningful and enjoyable road to come.