Monday, October 17, 2011

Honesty and Glamour

Dear Sentry,

There was an article that I read earlier today that really touched me. Among the many things that I got from the article, there was a reminder to me that I need to be honest with myself. I cannot help but think back on certain things and wonder if I'm even close to being honest. I attend groups both at school and off campus that each have an implied idea of honesty within them. Each group suffers some kind of repression here in this Happy Valley.

What kind of honesty do we live in society, Sentry? What kind of honesty do we embrace when we are told by parents that in order to be hired by companies we must have a certain scrubbed clean appearance on our social media sites? What kind of honesty do we have when we are encouraged to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth except when it is damaging, embarrassing, or just ill-fitting?

Now, Sentry, honesty is such a strange thing, right? We have a call for more honesty from our government yet we run and hide from it when we realize just how gruesome, dark, and pathetic those truths are. We are embarrassed by the ramblings, idiocies, and foolishness that truth reveals about us. Our deepest, darkest secrets, if revealed, are nothing more than the hungering for the taboo, vain wanting of things in life, and awkward thoughts that we possess about ourselves and others. Honesty is a strange and often-times uncomfortable thing.

We - as individuals, groups, families, communities, societies, and civilizations - do not want honesty. What we want is a controlled form of life. The comfort of believing that our shallow stereotypes of life are consistent and all that there is. For if we were to strip ourselves of these insecurities and see how human we all were, life would cease to contain this thin veneer of feigned decency.

Honesty, Sentry, is to be carefully locked away while celebrating it.

So, how am I being honest with myself? Am I being honest with myself or have I turned away from the hard facts, embarrassing moments, and just oddities that have populated my life over the years? Have I made a squeaky clean version of me and blocked, then, my ability to handle and deal with life? Do I ignore reality and opt for the politically, religiously, or socially correct view of life? Life is not glamorous or glitzy or even bedazzled with cheep thrills and shallow entertainment.

The answer, unfortunately, Sentry, is that I have not been honest. What I have invested in our the cheap thrills in life, the empty promises of happiness and fulfillment. I could say that I do not understand suffering, and that would be correct, but I think I honestly just don't know what it means to care for someone that has lost everything and cannot seem to find their way back in life. I do not know what it's like to face such unfiltered hatred because of something you are or live or believe in. I do not know what it's like to walk a mile in their shoes or see through their eyes.

I wish to be more honest. I wish to see more of my life and the world around me as it is. I don't want to dress it up in frills or put a positive or negative spin on it. I don't want to take a "Gospel" perspective on it or add the shadings of politics to it that so often distorts our reality. I simply want to see it as it is. I want to approach this with a healthy, realistic approach. Nothing more. Nothing less. I imagine it would take time to get into the habit of doing so, but I want to attempt to do so, Sentry.

Your friend,