IT'S a sobering thing to be brutally honest with yourself, because that often comes with a lot of self-reflection and realization that you’re still miles and miles away from whatever goal you have in mind.
I can remember one my more head-shaking experiences a few years ago when I ill-advisedly tried to grow facial hair.
Given that my Chinese genetics only allow me to grow a not-even-respectable Fu Manchu mustache, I looked like a bad B-movie villain. However, I was adamant—I looked decent.
It was only later when I looked at myself in a mirror and begrudgingly agreed that I was better off with a newborn baby shave than anything else.
That’s just a “funny” example; how many times has ego made me hold on to my opinion? When I was honest with myself, I didn’t care so much about being right as I was about proving the other person wrong and making him/her act the fool.
Eating a slice of humble pie is like medicine: you don’t like it, but you gotta take it for your own good. That’s probably why honesty, according to the golden oldie song, is such a lonely word. Because when we really shine a light on ourselves, we find a lot of things not likeable.
But honesty can be liberating too, you know. When we judge correctly and rightly, all of a sudden we don’t need to put out a carefully manicured version of ourselves.
There’s no more need to parade around and show how “perfect” our lives are because there’s no such thing. Which is not to say we tell people to love us as we are because we can’t change—being honest also involves trying to patch up our weaknesses and character flaws. Life is a continuous cycle of us hustling and bustling to become better versions of ourselves, and that’s where the fun is anyway.
I’ll be honest and say last week in my main article I stated that there were five social media pitfalls when I stated only four. That was my bad, but let me add the fifth pitfall here in this article, just to make sure all you readers are attentive (just kidding).
That pitfall would be constant high-fiving or always agreeing only with those who agree with us. That’s not solidarity; that’s confirmation bias. In social media, and life, part of complete honesty is being man or woman enough to look at the other side of the argument and consider what merits they have. Inspiration comes from the oddest places, and sometimes it can come from those who see the world differently from us.
Time to sit down and be completely transparent with ourselves. Have we really, truly, tried to achieve the goals we set this year? Whatever the answer is, I hope it pushes us to do better with 2017 almost coming to a close. Better to strike out swinging than to not swing at all—and that’s an honest fact.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 25, 2017.
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