The whole truth and nothing but?

There are facts that are true, but are not palatable to some others. How then, do you communicate about these matters without damaging your reputation, losing your job, or breaking up a long relationship?

I suggest that you consider sharing only information that others can experience easily.

If you find out that the boss is violating the law, someone’s lover is unfaithful, or someone’s child shows seriously evil intentions toward a younger sibling, you may well feel an obligation to disclose this information to those affected by it.

Happiness does not come from sharing bad news, however true it is. You must find a way to communicate the truth in an acceptable manner to someone who will believe you. It is best if you communicate with as little editorial comment as possible.

On the other hand, you may have undergone some personal enlightenment and realize from direct personal observation that many of your former beliefs were not true. You may now realize that casual sex is personally destructive, that smoking will kill you, or that fervent belief is no substitute for actual observation. You may find that communicating your new-found reality to your old friends is unbelievably difficult. Again, you should consider sharing only that which they can accept easily.

Those who have learned to think outside the box, and operate on that basis, soon learn the difficulty of trying to explain where they are coming from.

More commonly, you grow up accepting as truth the assumptions your parents lived by, until you discover that some of these time-honored beliefs are based on false data. Trying to communicate your perceptions to your family may be upsetting to them and a waste of your time. It is better to recognize the good in others and respond to it naturally rather than to bring about enlightenment where none is desired.

My good friend Denny described this perfectly when he said, “these good people were operating from a set of assumptions that I no longer relate to”.

When that happens, you may realize that there is no point in trying to spread the truth, because you will alienate people beyond belief. Except for those who recognize that they have hit a wall and need enlightenment, your best bet is to stick with non-controversial truths that are almost self-evident.

There is a great joy, however, when you discover someone who has acquired some of the same hard-won truths and you can share thoughts freely. Otherwise, share only that information which others can experience easily. Nobody likes the person who breaks the news about Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

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