The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” – George Orwell
I’ve both heard and said a lot over these past few weeks. I’ve seen dear friends fall out, and I’ve seen people reconcile. But if there’s one thing I’ve noticed, there’s a clear divide, and that’s the people with the courage to be outspoken and say what they wish, and those who are just content to crumble in the face of an opportunity to do so.
Now, this may seem a bit harsh, but those who would choose the latter, I view as cowards. These are people who are all up for a bashing or roast of someone when speaking behind a person’s back, however, when they’re within earshot, a different mask is put on entirely. This to me is the ultimate act of dishonesty, and does nothing more than solidify the fact that you’re simply afraid of the truth.
And what’s he then, that says I play the villain? When this advice is free I give, and honest! […] When devils will their blackest sins put on. They do suggest at first with heavenly shows, As I do now – Iago, Othello
As is becoming tradition on this blog, let’s take my own experience as an example, and boost my ego a bit. I’ve often been criticized or thought of as arrogant because of the fact that I choose to be outspoken. I’m honest with people and expect the same in return. For the most part, there are few who agree with me and others who simply go along with it. But when the time for confrontation comes, they seem to hang tail and this reflects exactly what Iago’s saying. Recently, my old group of friends had to stage an intervention for someone. I’ll spare you the grizzly details (as there comes a point where this becomes shit-stirring) but they discussed what needed to be done to no end before confronting said friend. Yet when the time came for confrontation only one other person and myself relayed the truth to our friend’s face. The others either stayed quiet or sheepishly avoided the key issues of the matter. Whilst interventions are somewhat “soap-opera” at this point in time, it really gets to me when people put on an act depicting everything to be fine, as that is when their greatest faults are committed, because they aren’t being honest. The rest of this friendship group avoided being honest as they were afraid of what it might cost them. Honesty is a great virtue, and if we all used it more often, I think we’d be a bit more tolerant of each other as humans.
A knight’s a sword with a horse. The rest, the vows and the sacred oils and the lady’s favours, they’re silk ribbons tied around the sword. Maybe the sword’s prettier with ribbons hanging off it, but it will kill you just as dead. Well, bugger your ribbons and shove your swords up your arses. I’m the same as you. The only difference is, I don’t lie about what I am. So kill me, but don’t call me a murderer when you stand there telling each other that your shit don’t stink.” – Sandor Clegane, A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire)
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I like “A Song of Ice and Fire,” and what The Hound says here is a perfect analysis of the fact that society has become so afraid of those that speak the truth as opposed to hiding behind their fronts in order to save their own image. So why the swords you ask? Well (aside from the fact that swords are cool) I think that the whole “decorating the sword” analogy is the perfect example of how we avoid telling each other the truth. No matter how you chose to decorate it, no matter how many ribbons you use, the truth is the truth, and to be honest (excuse the pun) it hurts. This is the key problem, we’re so hell bent on not hurting anyone that telling the truth has simply almost been discarded.
What if I say I’m not like the others?What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays? You’re the pretender. What if I say that I will never surrender?” – Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters
Now I’m not saying I’ve never lied, or avoided hurting anyone, because that would be just dishonest (Ironic, no?). What I am saying is that some people choose to learn from these mistakes, take the ribbons off of their sword and speak the truth for what it is. As a group of people we’re all given the same tools. We all have the ability to tell the truth. The only difference is there are those that choose to manipulate it, and those that wish for it to become a symbol of mutuality. My problem lies with those that condemn the telling of the truth, and that’s something I’ve never done.
I guess what I’m trying to say is a repeat of Orwell’s words. People start to dislike and shy away from the truth because they’re afraid of the consequent hurt it’ll bring them. I’ve been dubbed as many things for being honest with people, most of them negative, but to be as frank as possible, if you have to lie to feel secure with people, then they aren’t worth the time in the first place. We should embrace the truth, it’s really all we have to go by at this point. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be hated for being honest than loved being something I’m not. Take it away Dante:
I don’t know my mother, but if you’re calling me a son of a bitch, then you wouldn’t be the first!” – Dante, DmC: Devil May Cry