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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Truth, The Whole Truth, or Nothing Like the Truth?

I've been trying to write a letter. It's a very hard letter to write. And not just because I am determined to share the recipient's dedication to elegant handwritten missives highlighted with clever and thoughtful illustrations.

How do you tell someone you think they are wrong, about everything, about the most fundamental things? How do you tell a very dear someone whose primary interest in you is saving your soul that you don't believe one single word of it, that she is the one being misled?

Do you bother to cite the plentiful evidence? Do you send her a book to read in honest enquiry of the truth knowing full well she has her own more important book and will only discredit any evidence as Satan's red herring?

Do you say nothing because your relationship has never been about small talk and without this key discourse you really have nothing to share?

Do you break someone's heart for the sake of being honest?


Stephanie (Mamalynx) said...

I like to try to always come down on the side of manners, and kindness.

So no, I wouldn't. I would decide what the friendship was worth to me. If I decided it was worth keeping, I would have an honest and tactful discussion with her, about how I didn't share her views, and so let's just move on to other topics. It doesn't matter that you think her beliefs are wrong - that doesn't have to stop you from being respectful.

If the friendship isn't worth keeping, I'd just quietly drift away.

What would you rather be, kind, or right? I can be very well right within myself. If you hold a passionate belief that I belief is wrong, even if I have evidence to back me up, you are not ready to hear it. Presenting your view in that way can only have one outcome. You're not going to convince her of anything. She is jus as passionately unwilling to hear your truth, as you are to hear hers.

Honesty is not lying when you're asked, or when it comes up. Hurtfulness is pushing the truth when you're not asked, and when it's not wanted.

You may not like my answer. Let's just say I have a diverse enough group of friends that I've learned that there is value in silence and kindnesss. There is a place for me to speak my mind, and a place where all it does is hurt someone I care about.

If she's a true friend, some kind and firm words will convince her to back off. If she's not, well, there you go.

For whatever it's worth ...

Maureen said...

Can't you just agree to disagree and not discuss the matter further?

Hornblower said...

I want to know what you'd illustrate this letter with? bg

I think Stephanie is on the money.

If it were me, I'd send a quick note saying "I appreciate your beliefs are important to you and I respect them but I do not share them. Let me know if you want to borrow my copy of The God Delusion. Otherwise, I think we'd better leave this subject alone and preserve our friendship."

L said...

I too prefer kindness. I'm holding off on the letter. For now. I'm fairly certain my silence will only prompt further questioning, though. Thanks, guys.

I'm still trying to imagine just what kind of artwork would accompany my reply...

MargaretWV said...

How about Flying Spaghetti Monster illustrations?

Sara said...

Unless pressed, I prefer kind silence on these types of disagreements. But if you do write and illustrate such a letter, please post it.