The Marriage of Honesty and Tact

I’m discovering in my limited experience with blogging, and with  keeping up with others’ blogs, that being “real” online is challenging. We tend to blog about things that excite us or that we take interest in, so the sparkly aspects of us really shine, but the real parts of us are obscured in the shadows. And that’s all good to a certain extent because there are parts of me that you just really don’t need to know about. I’m sorry if you are offended by it, you may just skip on to the next blog.

Being real in today’s world is more complicated than it should be. We are friends with people we have never met on social networking sites. It’s fairly easy to make our online identity completely different than who we really are. And since they are none the wiser for it we somehow feel better about ourselves.

That’s the scary part of blogging, along with the fact that anybody can read what I write. I do have this really neat site meter that tracks people on my site, telling me their latest splurges and how much they weigh. Well, I do have a site meter. I guess it sorta stops there.

Honesty and tact has been on my mind a lot lately. How can one be tactfully honest? In our North-American culture, we beat around bushes. Oh, YES we do! I thought I just heard somebody say that they really, for the most part, and most of the time don’t. Really, it’s amusing at times, how we tiptoe around the obvious. And I say that because I’ve spent 4 years of my life with the most honest people group I’ve ever met, Liberians. There were times I cringed inwardly and wished I didn’t understand the Liberian English. They said things the way they were. And they didn’t say it in four different languages to soften the impact. At times they lacked tact.

And then I come back, and everybody knows there’s a problem with something, and nobody talks about it. They speak of it in vague enough terms so it’s not too obvious, but everybody knows what they are talking about. We lack honesty.

Somehow, I think the union of tact and honesty should be possible. It was in the life of Jesus. He was honest even when it hurt but there was a certain dignity and tact that accompanied it.

I love southern-style honesty. Our neighbor from a few houses back came to us soon after we moved. In her high, sugary voice she said, “Ah brought you a key-lahm pah and ah do make a good key-lahm pah.” For those of you not acquainted with this language, it translates as “I brought you a key lime pie and I do make a good key lime pie.” And we are thinking !!!!!!! The neat thing is that they are quick to acknowledge other people’s good points. And if they do have to say something not-so-complimentary about something or someone they tack “bless her heart” at the end. As in, “Mrs. Lotus painted her house a most unusual apricot color, bless her heart.” That phrase covers a multitude of sins down here 🙂

I think if we would all make honesty a lifestyle, it would be easier. And when I say honesty, I mean facing issues and confrontations head-on. I

Confrontation and conflict is not pleasant. But avoiding and dodging it doesn’t take care of it. It won’t go away. There is where the marriage of tact and honesty should take place.

Being real and honest is not about letting everyone know whenever you are upset or having a bad day. I’m talking about a sanctified kind of reality. We all know what it’s like to be around someone who is constantly bemoaning something or another. That is honesty, I guess, just not the right kind.

Today I heard the most wonderful message about confrontation and forgiveness. It wasn’t about forgiving and forgetting. It poked right down to the nitty gritty of forgiveness and attitudes. I may write more about it later but the thought most impressed on my memory was:

(in regards to forgiveness)

We need to remember that we stand between a King to whom we owe a debt we cannot pay, and a person who owes something that we can forgive.

 Forgiveness is absorbing a debt and then releasing the person who owes it without making sure they realize how much they hurt us.



2 thoughts on “The Marriage of Honesty and Tact

  1. I really enjoyed your wrting. I followed your link from Dorcas Smucker's site. Love reading old books too… Thanks for writing it down big! I'd love to put your blog on my list of favorites…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s