The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Honesty makes way for harmony

    Truth and fallacy are divided by a very prominent line. We know when we are telling the truth, and we know when we are lying; most of the time, others see the difference, too.
    Unfortunately, there is not always a very noticeable divider among truth, lies and omission. This is a topic often left to the discretion of those involved, which ends frequently in an unresolved argument.
    So, where can this line exist? When do innocent omissions become a problem? Are they trouble from the very beginning, or must they evolve into lies first? In reality, there’s no room to debate this subject. Omission is just as harmful as outright lying.
    No matter what we tell ourselves or let others try to tell us, omitting information is just as deceitful as lying. For one, by not telling the whole truth, you have blatantly drifted from honesty. When you fail to be honest, whether you’ve actually lied or simply “forgotten” to include a few details, you have lied.
    Many people try to convince themselves that omission is necessary to spare others’ feelings. The truth can be brutal sometimes, so it is only natural that we feel like we have to protect those we care about from the ruthlessness of truth; however, when we enter protective mode, we fail to realize that the truth will more than likely be discovered at some point, and when the truth emerges, the results will be far from pleasant. It is unfortunate enough that someone must receive bad news; it is much worse when someone receives bad news and learns that he or she has been deceived.
    Even if one doesn’t consider omitting the truth to be lying, omission can be expected to evolve into lying. At first you will find yourself relying on little white lies to cover whatever it is you are hiding. Those lies, while harmful themselves, will eventually turn into lies that are undoubtedly detrimental.
    Of course, tact is an important tool in being honest. Throwing the rigid truth in someone’s face isn’t always the best idea; neither is sugar-coating harmful information. Knowing the right time and place to share bad news with others without falling back on omission is a skill that many people, myself included, tend to lack. If you can’t be tactful, it is still best to tell the truth; otherwise you’ll find yourself spinning that web of lies.
    We are sometimes forced into feeling like we have to live up to some imaginary standard, and we think that if we can make others believe what we would like to believe about ourselves, then we will eventually be molded into that image. The problem lies in the process of growing from what we really are into what we wish to be. This is a process that we must undergo on our own, without dragging others along. We cannot pretend to be something we are not in hopes that we will become that person. We must first become what we wish to be and then share that person with others.
    We fool ourselves into thinking that we have to hide our faults, which often results in lying or avoiding the truth. We are scared that we will be incapable of attaining the affection we desire once our faults are revealed, but if someone is willing to give us affection in the first place, they are probably open-minded enough to accept our shortcomings. Part of developing relationships with others is being able to accept the faults along with the attractive aspects. You cannot fall in love with only half of a person.
    Honesty should be part of the foundation of any relationship. Without it, no relationship can grow properly. We must remember that avoiding the truth to protect others should never be our first move, and trying to change our personalities by lying will only hurt in the end. The truth, though sometimes painful to accept and not always elegant, will forever be most beneficial in the long run.
    Michael Robert is a sophomore studying mathematics. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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    Honesty makes way for harmony