Harvey Spector walks into Donna’s office, seeking advice on whether to make Mike a senior partner at the firm. To his surprise, Donna thinks otherwise.
“You made him a lawyer before he was ready. Don’t make him a senior partner before he’s ready. It won’t help him, and it won’t help us.”
“How do you know he’s not ready?”, Harvey wonders.
“Because I do, and I know it’s a hard thing to hear, but if we can’t tell each other hard truths, then what are we doing?” Donna brilliantly replies with an intuition only equal to hers.
This scene blew me away. You’re forgiven if you have never watched the drama series ‘Suits’, but how resounding is Donna statement about hard truths. I got thinking, why is it so difficult to tell the truth? You shall know the truth and it shall set you free, they say, but how many of us remain captives in prisons of our own creations? The prison of sugar coating. The prison of lies. And you know what the hard truth is? The society today is built on lies.
In the society today, the truth is relative, it’s not absolute. People live inside masks, and use the social media to enhance their image to hide the feeling of inadequacy. They rely on likes and comments to achieve the short lived ego boost. Why are we afraid of authenticity, the people we truly are? Isn’t this the cause of political immorality and corruption we see in our country today? I’ll not even touch on how the true gospel has been fabricated, to appease the audience by hiding the truth.
Could we walk to someone and just say, “I’ve had a huge crush on you for years” or “I don’t like what you are doing” or even “that dress doesn’t look so nice on you”. Awkward right? But how simpler can it get. We often think that if we don’t let out this hard truths, we protect others or even ourselves. This is a misconception. The sophistication that accompanies the truth overshadows the reason and logic of having to hide the truth in the first place.
Now unless holding the truth will save someone or turns out to be more compassionate than letting it out, then we should not hold it in. But I know that we hold in the hard truths, not because we are compassionate but because we are protecting people’s egos. We fear that they might change the way they look at us or even collapse. Well, lying is a character defect, in fact I can equate it to hypocrisy.
Better still, this kind of brutal honesty builds character. It turns you into a reliable person, a mirror upon which people can self-reflect and improve. Can we now mount on this truth-telling courage? Such that If a friend is about to enter into a harmful relationship, we warn them! Compassionately. We don’t let them fall into the cliff. We pull them back with this unpleasant truth, especially when we have seen the whole picture. But don’t forget, be a friend and not a coach. And give this advice, when you can. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Honesty is a culture, so don’t fake the truth, face it. Which again makes me wonder, if we can’t tell each other the hard truths, then what are we doing?