New Year, New You. Or Me

5 Jan

The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear. – Socrates

He might be an ancient philosopher, but Socrates had a good point. Why is it people don’t say what they mean? I’m currently reading a book by my favourite author, Jodi Picoult, about a teenager with Asperger’s, and part of this issue is that someone suffering this condition cannot grasp normal teen actions and phrases, like the way American teenage boys punch you to say hi. For someone comfortable with the idiosyncracies of humanity then this is simply part of life; but to someone lacking the ability to sense nuances, it’s a minefield.

But this quote is something that I can readily see in my daily life, and something that I just don’t understand. Why do we feel the need to say things we don’t mean? If we think something we should say it, and likewise if we really don’t agree, we should say, surely?

I know that people would argue that by saying something not entirely true to their thoughts they may be saving the other persons feelings, or saving face in front of others, but in reality there is nothing most of us want more that to be told the truth, rather than be pussyfooted around. The truth removes the allowance of ‘what if?’ and ‘yeah but’ and all the things that your mind puts into play when you are unsure of a situation.

So my new year’s resolution is this. Aside from the ‘i must visit the gym and not eat maltesers’ standard new year’s promise, I vow to say what I mean. Whether it puts me open to rejection, leaves me suffering from contradiction or just means that I don’t have the option to save face, I don’t care. I will endeavour to be what I desire to appear. And you best all love me for it.

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