Developing a Truth Leak

“The mistake ninety-nine percent of humanity made, as far as Fats could see, was being ashamed of what they were; lying about it, trying to be somebody else. Honesty was Fats’ currency, his weapon and defense. It frightened people when you were honest; it shocked them. Other people, Fats had discovered, were mired in embarrassment and pretense, terrified that their truths might leak out . . .”

A while back I read a review of JK Rowling’s newest book, The Casual Vacancy.  That particular reviewer enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading it someday; having been a fan of the HP books for years.  The above passage from the book intrigued me enough to wonder what else might be in store, and I have a feeling I would enjoy the character, Fats.

For a long time, I’ve adopted the saying “Tell the truth, there’s less to remember.” as my mantra.  The few times that I’ve lied to someone, I get all flustered down the road when I’m talking with that person again about whatever situation I felt compelled to lie about, often resulting in a lot of backpedaling.  In fact, just the explanation (above) about lying and then getting caught in the lie was convoluted.  That’s why it’s just so much easier to tell the truth from the start.

But the other interesting part about the passage above is Fats’ remark about people being afraid of the truth, preferring, instead, to be “mired in embarrassment and pretense.”  This goes along perfectly with the blog I wrote a couple weeks back about being honest.  (Side Note:  Today’s blog was partially written last year some time, and I didn’t find it again until after I’d written the one earlier this month.  If I had, I would’ve tied them together into one.)

There’s a great scene in the movie Powder, where Powder talks about people being able to talk with each other, without deceptions, sarcasm or any of the other things they tend to hide behind:


As the girl he’s talking to says, very few of us know anyone who speaks to others without some sort of pretense or cover.  Sure, we all have friends that we can truly be our whole selves with (at least, I hope everyone has at least one of those confidants), but it’s very hard for many of us to speak to someone with such vulnerability and honesty (especially a total stranger).  We’re worried that the other person/people will see us and notice our flaws and judge us harshly.  That in itself is quite funny, since there’s NO WAY anyone could ever judge us more harshly than we judge ourselves.

That’s actually one of my biggest fears–that people will judge me harshly, or find me lacking in some way.  But even with that fear, I’d much rather be honest about who I am and deal with the judgement than to not honor myself, just so that people will like me better or more.

Another reason that we lie or keep up pretenses might be because we’re just not happy with our own truth.  I’m sure there are some out there who don’t like their life the way it currently is, so they invent a life they can be more “proud” of.  It probably starts out as a small lie, or maybe even NOT a lie, but a hope (e.g. “I’m going to travel to Europe”), but circumstances might make the hope next to impossible.  So rather than admitting that the dream has to wait a little while longer, they might start to build on it and turn it into a “reality.”  This is easier when speaking with people that you don’t talk to all the time, but it’s been my experience that you will eventually get caught in the lie, no matter how small or innocuous.  So again, it’s just better (and easier, in my opinion) to tell the truth from the get go.

We’re all born with a truth leak, we just learn to plug it up over time.  But hopefully, there are less and less of us who are afraid of whatever our truth might be, and are willing to let our real selves shine.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dolly Chamberlin
    May 31, 2013 @ 05:14:13

    I learned some examples of honesty from my parents, and different examples of honesty from my children. I prefer the honesty I learned from my children. It is a more pure form, before all the ‘social graces’ have been taught/learned. I like simplicity, honesty is simplicity for me. One of my mentors (Anita Aldrich) said, “You never have to lie, & you don’t have to be mean. You may have to use your brain a little more, but you never have to lie.” Thanks, Neets for being a part of that teaching process. LOVES :}


    • Alyx Morgan
      May 31, 2013 @ 08:23:38

      Your mentor, Anita, was very wise, indeed. I’m glad I was able to help you learn that, but you also get my thanks for being open to accepting honesty & simplicity. It’s a rare parent who can handle a child’s blunt honesty, especially when around other people. 🙂

      I love you, too, Mom.


  2. Dana Fredsti
    May 31, 2013 @ 11:34:27

    Anita Aldrich summed it up most excellently, and I couldn’t agree more whole-heartedly with what she said.


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