“I’m just being honest.”
Why are these words almost unanimously preceded by an insult?
You know what I’m talking about, right? A friend criticizes an outfit or hairstyle or Instagram post and then, when given a look, responds with the above.
But that’s not honesty, that’s an opinion.
Honesty is something deeper, a willingness to reveal oneself. It’s vulnerability.
I love Chelsea Handler. That may surprise people, given the polarity of our lifestyle (apart from being Jews from the Tri-State area). But I do. I love her.
I recently watched her docu-series Chelsea Does and I thought about her particular brand of humor. And I wondered why I find her outspokenness is so appealing, while I find Trump’s so abhorrent. Granted, she’s a comedian. But they’re both personalities, both out there, unabashedly for all to see.
The difference is in the humility, in the willingness to admit one’s humanness, one’s flaws. And the ability to make light of them.
We have an issue in this culture, wherein we confuse opinion with truth. It’s rampant. And it damages not only the recipient but the commentator themselves, because it robs them of their very humanity.
Real truth is soul-baring. It requires everything. It’s brave. And maybe most importantly it’s not about others, but self. It isn’t concerned with what others are doing because it recognizes the inherent flaws of being human, being alive every day.
We’re so terrified of being wrong, of being not enough, of being less than.
What if we were honest about that? Where would we be then?
Artwork by Michelle Favin of Whys LA for Poppy & Seed. Connect with her @whyslosangeles.