I propose that we drop Columbus Day in favor of Honesty Day.
It seems clear to me that one of the biggest problems we have is being honest first with ourselves and then with others.
Now being honest with someone doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk. You can tell someone how you feel in a way that puts the responsibility on you and not them. For example, I often say “I don’t understand what that means.” I could say “You are terrible at communicating and I don’t understand you.” The goal is to find a better way and respect others, not just to be honest.
Too often we don’t recognize what we know to be true and what we are doing. I think the reason that most people are unhappy is that they live their lives as a lie. They live as though they believe one thing, when in fact they believe something else.
Let’s use an example here. People who believe that vaccines can cause all kinds of problems and are dangerous to take. They are unscientific and reject their good health because past vaccines were available and taken to combat terrible diseases. Even if it causes some problems, overwhelmingly the evidence for vaccines is clear. People want to selectively believe in science but it just doesn’t work that way.
They believe that they can pick and choose from science, and they can, but they also can’t. They can choose to live as ignorantly as they want and they will die from their ignorance. Ultimately however the truth doesn’t care what our opinion of it is, and reality ultimately takes effect.
Honesty is just recognizing that life will happen and our attempts to deny reality just don’t work. We should attempt to help ourselves and those we love to accept reality and find a way to survive and thrive.
As individuals and species, we love to kick the can down the road and deny reality. We like to think that we can cope with global warming or any of the other hundreds of self-created problems we have. We can cope with it, but ultimately it will kill millions of people and have untold cruel effects. Is the world we want this cruel? Why do we act as though the poor and unvoiced don’t matter?
Honesty is difficult, but if we don’t look at the hard facts of our lives we won’t be enjoying our future.