Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?
I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that if you want to manifest real change in the world, then you cannot be a pure-honest individual. By pure-honest, I mean someone who is honest to the detriment of themselves and their own ambitions. Now, it would be natural to question why you would avoid lying if it meant it would avoid harm for yourself, and I have been exploring that notion for quite some time and would like to explore it openly today; I will say immediately, however, that pure-honesty does not win social wars in any capacity and if that is your goal then do not strive to be an honest individual in the current social climate.
Torture Leads to Honesty
As I so often do I'm going to be using myself as the example, only this time it will be for pure-honesty. If you've been following my articles, especially the ones that go into detail about the abuse I suffered growing up, then you should already be able to see where I'm going in this section. For those of you who have not, I was severely abused as a child and this led to me developing a wide range of disorders and quirks that don't make sense to others around me without my explanation.
Due to suffering through severe abuse, I developed a strange disorder that I do not know the name of in which I am able to lie when it carries no real weight, but I am unable to lie when it would avoid a very unpleasant outcome for myself. Take for example if I am participating in a conversation about my opinions on religion and it would suit me best to just tell everyone that I totally support their religion and all the texts that come with it, I can't do it because lying like that causes me severe paranoia and anxiety almost as if I would be beaten like my mother used to beat me if I was caught lying; though my mother beat me even when I told the truth.
This cycle of being abused before being caught lying at a young age, then being abused when caught in a lie, and further being abused for telling the truth when it wasn't necessary has made lying to avoid detrimental effects nearly impossible. Like when I had "sneaked out" without anyone knowing and still I told my parents I did it out of paranoid fear of what would happen "when" they found out, and they turned off all electricity to my room for multiple days and took away all forms of entertainment all the while committing further acts of abuse on top of it.
So, why don't I just lie and deal with the consequences my own mind makes me endure?
Honesty Is the Weapon of a Caged Soul
The only explanation I have found as to the reason I tell the truth to my own detriment is that I turned my inability to lie into a weapon for my own protection. Where I am unable to lie, I sharpen the truth into a blade made of words I use to defend myself against the onslaught of lies and cruelty that surround me. I do not raise my weapon against those who would not seek to hurt me, ever, but that doesn't mean the people who seek to hurt me don't view themselves as the victims while they strike me.
My cage was made by those who would see me tortured, helpless, defenseless, and bending to their every whim, all the while they painted the image that I was the one giving them no choice but to do it to me and that they were in fact my victims, much like in organized religion when people seek to point out abuses and the lies used to hide them. The only defense in such a scenario is raising the blade of truth and smashing it upon their armor of lies as hard as I could. Armor made of lies is quite strong, and truth wielded by a single person is a weak blade at best.
Armor made of lies is quite strong, and truth wielded by a single person is a weak blade at best.— Kyler J. Falk
Truth Is a Rusty Blade, Lies Are Nukes
I cannot stand the phrase, "Honesty is the best policy," because more often than not the truth has acted more like a rusty blade standing in the face of lies with the power of a nuclear blast in my life. Yet, I still do not break away from honesty, and my honesty was detrimental to my father and myself together once. Funny enough, my abusive father decided to report my mother for her abuses to the O.C. Sheriff, in conjunction with my own report, and that honesty backfired in our faces at the behest of my mother's lies.
It has been so long that I cannot recall the specifics of what was reported, but I know my mother had hit me in the eye with the butt of a landline telephone, which resulted in a big bruise under my eye and serious swelling when I attempted to call my dad to rescue me as she screamed at me. I had been arrested the previous night for sneaking out to see my girlfriend after curfew and getting caught carrying a switchblade for protection, and she was still screaming at and hitting me for that occurrence the next day as she had done in the car when she came to pick me up the night before.
My mother, father, and myself had to go down to the police station to figure out how to deal with my punishment under the law and during that time I felt it would be a good opportunity to report my mom, as did my father. It was a female officer overseeing the happenings within the station interrogation room and we reported everything we could muster about my mom. The officer seemed skeptical and dismissive the entire time as she refused to even take notes on our reports. My mother somehow convinced the officer she was the victim in the situation, and the officer told us never to lie to the police again just because of marital and revenge issues.
I bet had I exaggerated the already gut-wrenching claims into heart-tearing lies as my mother did, my little brother wouldn't currently be suffering under her sadistic reign. But, as I've come to find, you can't win social wars with honesty.
Honesty With the Self, for All
Coming to the end of this spiel, I guess all I really want to say is that I would like to see more pure-honest individuals in the world who are that way naturally rather than a product of abuse. It breaks my heart to see horrendous occurrences hidden behind the power of lies, especially when those lies would never hold any power in a world where individuals are honest with themselves. Had anyone in my life been honest with me, those around me, themselves, or just in general then I would not have had to suffer for as long as I did. I would not still be fighting my family for the justice I deserve, and the justice that my abused brothers deserve.
So I guess, if not for me then for yourself, let's make honesty into a tool that can end these ongoing social wars. If you can't first be honest with yourself, then you cannot expect anyone to be honest with you. Do not seek to hurt anyone with your honesty in lieu of lying, instead seek to heal the traumas that caused them to hurt you through seeking the truth behind them. If we all seek the truth from one another, and in turn offer nothing but the truth, then we would see the end of many horrible happenings in the world.