So, yes, loving everyone and telling the truth. My new philosophy. How’s it going with that, you ask?
I’ll tell you. At first it’s kind of fun! Loving everybody. Instead of assuming that everyone you meet is going to be a disappointing cretin, as was your previous approach to human relations, you’re now freed up to imagine that each person you meet, no matter how surly their expression or threatening their body language, is about to tell you a really funny joke.
In other words, you greet each person you meet with hope!
Telling the truth, however, is so much more difficult.
Somewhere along the line it became my habit not to do so.
Because the truth can make people uncomfortable.
And God knows, starting back at that tender age where you think you’ll never, ever be popular, you’ll shut up and pretend to be anyone but your wonky self just to be accepted. By people whose main talent was growing breasts before you did.
People who barely noticed you anyway, because you were voted most likely to become a brain surgeon, in that highly reliable way sixth graders have of predicting the future, and everyone knows that in seventh grade the only thing worse than being dressed by your mom is being perceived as a “brain.”
Couple that with certain powerful members your family being violently sensitive to being told they were assholes by a morose preteenager, and watch in horror as a lifelong habit of remaining silent in the face of hypocrisy falls into place!
And then THIS guy comes along, this guy who has no problem saying “No!” and “GO AWAY” and “I don’t want to kiss Grandma!” This little person who needs you not to be lazy and compliant but to blaze a trail of truthfulness and bravery before him.
Which is fun for the first couple of days. Then you realize that you’ve signed on to act loving and truthful for the rest of your life.
And you’re still waiting to hear that really funny joke.