Two words. "Honesty" and "Truth". Everyone knows what they mean. Most believe they are synonymous. But are they? In the real word, words are used by people in the form in which THEY WANT THEM TO MEAN. Take minute and read the definition of the "Human Condition." -
The human condition is "the characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict, and mortality". This is a very broad topic which has been and continues to be pondered and analyzed from many perspectives, including those of religion, philosophy, history, art, literature, anthropology, psychology, and biology.
As a literary term, "the human condition" is typically used in the context of ambiguous subjects such as the meaning of life or moral concerns.
Makes perfect sense, right? Life takes the human condition into consideration because it is inherent to our species. Built into our DNA sort of speak. Therefore, people will inherently use words in a context that suits their needs. Most times is is not intentional because it is an innate behavior. Meaning, one hard wired to them since birth. Of course, there are those will manipulate it further. Part of the human condition is such that people need to feel they are right. Now that we have the basic concept out of the way. Let's continue.
Honesty and truth are words that go hand and hand. Or one might think they should. If you are being honest, it's assumed you are telling the truth. If you are telling the truth, it's assumed you are being honest. NOT THE CASE. Remember that little thing called the human condition? Many times people will say something they have talked themselves into believing is the truth, therefore, in their mind they are being honest. Keep in mind, part of the human condition causes people to justify what they did on their own minds. When this justification process occurs, people will actually believe what they are saying is the truth, therefore, in their mind, they are being honest. Let me give you an example.
A man cheats on his wife. He knows it's wrong, but he has to justify the reason in his mind. What does he do? He will think of anything to justify why he did it. His wife isn't making love to him that much, or not at all. Any excuse he could find. Whether it is true or not. She always is tired, or doesn't make him feel special. There could be many things he will come up with. UNDERSTAND, these things may be true, or extremely rare in occurrence. This is his way of justifying what he did, and it could be reversed. Than there are chemical imbalance reasons in the brain that may cause this. The point is, be it a man or a woman, they are justifying in their minds their actions. At some point they will believe it. Once they reach that point, to them, what they did is justified. Therefore, when they say no, they reason is justified. Therefore, it sounds convincing, and will come off as being honest and truthful when in fact it is a lie.
Truth and honesty are subjective terms. Meaning, their perception will vary from person to person. My definition of being truthful and honest may be different than yours. The most important thing to remember is, if someone is NOT being totally truthful or honest, but believe they are, to them, they are telling the truth, or being honest. Those are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WATERS because the other person is taking stick in what they are saying. What we all need to understand is, that inherently, most people do not want to hurt someone else. Therefore, they will bend the truth, or not be completely honest. One more example -
Has this ever happened to you? Look at the concept, not the literal example.
You ask someone a question. Maybe it goes like this:
1st. - Person: You were out last night after work?
2nd. - Yes
1st. - Where did you go?
2nd. - I stopped at Johns for a beer.
1st. - Okay, see you tonight.
Later that day, her girlfriend calls and says, "Hey, did you hear your boyfriend was at Johns last night hanging out with his sister?"
Later that night she confronts her boyfriend, as asks, "Where you at Johns last night after work?
He replies, "Yes, I told you that earlier when you asked."
She asks, "Where you hanging out with his sister?"
He replies, Yes, she was there."
She asks, "Why didn't you tell me that earlier when I asked?"
He replies, "You only asked where I went, you didn't ask if his sister was there and if we were hanging out."
This is referred to as a "Half-Truth", or "Selective Truth." In theory, he was honest. He answered ONLY her question. This was his way of justifying the fact that he was hanging out with John's sister.
In summary, you are probably wondering, how can anyone ever know if they are being told the truth without having to ask every single detail. Excellent question, and here is your answer. RIGHT FROM THE START. You have to understand in casual or work relationships, THERE SHOULD ALWAYS BE DOUBT. Your job is to keep abreast of what is going on around you. In your personal life, meaning, family, closest friends, significant others, you have to establish ground rules. Everyone MUST understand that honesty and truth is paramount to you. Even if they know it will hurt you. There are many people who would rather not know the truth, or have someone be totally honest. You know that saying, "What you don;t know can't hurt you?" That is your choice. There are also those where honesty and truth is just smacking them in the face, and they see it, they know it, and choose to ignore it. That is a more deeper emotional problem that they probably need professional help to straighten out. This is most common in relationships. Specifically, people who stay in a relationship when they know the truth, face it, and do nothing about it except make excuses. Somewhere, there is a deeper emotional insecurity or issue that they should get help with or it will simply become a repeated behavior. That is a different topic all together.
In closing, understand people, the concepts, the subjective nature of words. Know that what appears to be one way, may not always be that way. In issues of the heart, LAY DOWN THOSE GROUND RULES FROM THE START. The truth and total honesty can be hurtful. However, the fact is, the sooner you learn it and accept it, the less the hurt will be, and the sooner you will get over it and move on. It's your life. You could chose to live the dream, or live the nightmare. Follow me on Facebook - Caesar Rondina Author, Twitter - @caesarrondina, and Instagram - Caesar Rondina Author. Thank you. - CJR