The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tell the Truth Day

Instead of complaining about some earth-shattering issue I think society should be blamed for, this week I decided to go back to the very core of this blog and write about truth. As a little experiment, I thought it would be to fun to challenge myself to tell the truth for an entire 24 hours, and write about what I learned from the experience. Well, I learned that I tend to lie a lot, even when I don’t know I’m doing it. I lied during conversations, I lied in texts, hell I even lied on facebook. Sorry Jared Clark, I will not be going to your 22nd birthday bash even though I clicked the dreaded “going” button so I wouldn’t have to explain that I was skipping it to watch Glee in my pajamas. Telling the truth ALL the time is a lot harder than one might assume. Think about the very first thing you say to someone, “hey (insert generic name here), how are you?” How many times do you answer that honestly and say, “Pretty shit actually, my stomach has been hurting all day. I think it might be gas.” I’m guessing not so often. Most of the time you would just smile and give a pleasant, “good thanks, and how are you?” We have to edit and conceal what we think so that what we say follows proper social protocol. We try not to hurt people’s feelings because it would be harder on us than it would be on them. We cut conversations short so that we don’t have to feel guilty about how fake we are being.

But what if everyone said exactly what they thought. What if we didn’t filter, or exaggerate, or deceive? What if when my roommate asked me whether or not I minded if she borrowed my Tupperware, I screamed, “YES. Yes I mind very much in fact. Because somehow you’re washing makes things more dirty and sends my OCD induced anxiety through the roof!” instead of a polite, “of course not, use anything you like.” What if when my mom asked how the job search was going, I said, “it’s not really going at all,” instead of, “Good, I think there are a couple of options that look promising.” What if instead of commenting on the weather, the middle-aged woman next door who hides her beautiful figure by wearing those horrid mom jeans, asks me what she really wants. “Why on earth do you young people put holes in your face? Rings are for fingers not for noses.” I know she wonders because when we speak her eyes keep glued to the shiny silver protrusion jutting out from my nose, and she never looks directly into my eyes. I suppose looking into someone’s eyes is a form of honesty in itself. Rarely can I ever do so if I am fully telling the truth; deception like that is for people who get pleasure out of it, not for people who are driven by fear. What if we said to hell with social etiquette and we told the truth with our words, our faces, our tears, and most of all, with our hearts. Would it really be so bad? Before I sound like I am going to give some profound, insightful answer on how to live openly and free, I am going to stop and be honest; I have no clue. Maybe our lies are good, maybe we need them to survive. All I know is it is something worth thinking about. So my challenge to everyone who is reading this is to be utterly, painfully honest for a whole 24 long hours, and see what you learn about yourself as well as what others learn about you. If you succeed, I suggest you take yourself out for a celebratory drink because not only have you accomplished the almost impossible, but you will have probably pissed off all your friends who would have come with you. Happy truth-telling!


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