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Monday, January 23, 2012

Speaking truth to whatever

There's a wonderful Muhammad Ali quote: "My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world." So true. I may need sarcasm to survive, but I am always truthful. And if you hire me, I will inspire you, nag you, kvetch at you, let you weep on my shoulder...but I'll never lie to you. That's what your boy/girlfriend/significant other/personal trainer/stylist/personal assistant is for: to tell you what you want to hear. Hopefully you've hired me to help you make some pretty significant changes in your life, so how would lying help? Really, in general: how does lying to oneself help?
I was on a date recently with someone entirely too cutesy--you know it's a bad date when I finished my first drink...and refused a second one. Whoa, right?--to whom, in response to a fairly personal question, I gave him an entirely truthful if perhaps not flattering response. You could see how surprised he was. (Of course, given the perversity of human attraction, my "truthiness" only made him more interested...yuck. When two adults are discussing where they went to college, for f**k's sake, or old episodes of "South Park"...oy, you know this date is going nowhere.) But, again: I don't lie to myself. I accept my mistakes so that I can learn from them.
I'm not a hundred percent sure when that became such a ground-breaking concept, but apparently it is. Apparently, many people think they can be successful by denying all their mistakes even as they repeat the same poorly-reasoned behavior which caused the mistakes in the first place. Interesting.
Instead, how about you admit you made a mistake and unless someone died, or voted for Santorum, it's probably not the end of the world, you're human, and then you can extrapolate from that mistake and next time, you'll probably avoid making it. Even better, frequently you can extrapolate from the mistakes of others! You can pop some popcorn, put your feet up and watch and learn. I have friends who would be outraged if they knew how much I've learned from watching the Amtrak slow-moving train wreck of their existence. These are usually the same people who preface a conversation: "Carlota, you know me: if I was wrong, I would admit it, but I'm not wrong. It's not my fault." These are the people who when they say stuff like, "Well, I'm putting my faith in Jesus," you want to say, "Doesn't he have enough problems? I mean, I think Jesus likes you, but he doesn't, you know, like you." I personally am going to stick with helping Jesus to help me, i.e.: being honest with myself.

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