Sunday, March 8, 2009

True, Kind and Necessary

No, your ass looks great in those jeans. I quit gambling months ago. I'll call you tomorrow. Your breath smells terrible.

Should you tell the truth? Should you lie? Which comments deserve apologies before you even get called out on them? That's what I'm blogging about today.

Not too long ago, my little sister reminded me of something that a family friend (appropriately named Karma) had said. What it boils down to is this: "If you want to be a decent and respectful person, make sure that what you say falls into two of these three categories - True, Kind and Necessary."

It follows that it's okay to lie if you're saying something kind and necessary, such as telling someone who has recently quit smoking "I didn't notice that you've gained any weight." Similarly, it's acceptable to say something unkind if it's true and has to be heard, "When you drink, you can be a real ass." Finally, it's okay to say something that doesn't need to be said if it's true and kind.

If you realize that you've made a comment to someone that doesn't include the better part of these three guidelines, you may want to apologize, clarify or amend it to fit it into another. If you realize that you're constantly making comments outside of those lines, maybe it's time to do some self-reflection and figure out if you enjoy alienating people, because you probably do!

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