Tag Archives: truth

Read this Post by Joshua Becker on Why honesty is the best policy for simplicity.

This Article is by Joshua Becker of BecomingMinimalist.com :

Why Honesty is the Best Policy for Simplicity

by joshua becker

“No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” -Abraham Lincoln

A life of simplicity can be defined as a life that has removed all of the nonessentials. It is marked by oneness. It is uncomplicated. As a result, it is freeing. It allows our lives to be focused on the things that are most important to us.

Simplicity in life cannot be achieved without honesty. Honesty can live without simplicity, but simplicity cannot live without honesty. Consider the fact that every time we are not truthful, we create an alternate reality. And subsequently, we are forced to live a life in both worlds: the true one and the one we’ve created. On the other hand, when we choose honesty in all aspects of life including our marriage, our business, and our relationships, we live the same life wherever we are. Honesty leads to simplicity, but dishonesty leads to duplicity – the exact opposite. (Read More)

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The Most Interesting Man I Know (Besides My Dad)

You never know who you might be sitting next to in an English class in High School.

I have a friend who tells stories. That’s not all he does, but his story telling is what has him on my mind this month. As you know, I have been writing and talking a LOT about telling the truth. Not just telling the truth about who left the apartment building door ajar, but telling YOUR truth. Your stories. Your experiences.

Matt Holdaway has always marched to the beat of his own drum. I can still see him loping down the halls of our high school in Rexburg, Idaho, dressed in black. He wore black before black was cool. He was a “New Waver” in a town of cowboys. He was cheerful in a school full of overly serious teens. His easy laugh, which borders on a giggle, was infectious.

Fast forward 20 years and it is Matt Holdaway who makes the greatest effort to keep all us misfit toys from Rexburg together. He flies through Salt Lake on his way to visit his dad and makes sure we all get together. I know he does the same once he reaches that Idaho burg of frozen windswept wasteland.

Matt holds a special place in my teenage heart. He took a picture of me playing the flute in Temple Square, 1990, which, to this day, I believe is the prettiest photo ever taken of me. It captures exactly who I was and how I felt — innocent and sad. He is also one of the few friends I have who ever got to meet my Grandmother Bates. I love her so much, for some reason its comforting he met her.

After high school, most of us misfits from Idaho relocated to the “big city,” AKA, Salt Lake City. Matt started a magazine. It was really more of a booklet of photocopies stapled together. He would print stories, artwork, songs and more that his friends had created. He printed a couple of my songs. The rags were called, “A Multitude of Voices.” As far as I know, he still produces them.

He would also organize huge events he called “A Night of Voices.” The lineup for the evenings would include everything from pantomime to poetry. Looking back, it was a hell of thing to pull off for a kid from Rexburg, newly transplanted in Salt Lake. He was my artistic conscience a lot of the time. I know I was more aware of being truthful in my songwriting when I knew he’d be listening.

Eventually Matt moved to the Bay Area. We haven’t been the kind of friends who check in on each other weekly, monthly or even yearly, but we are true friends. And here is why he is the Most Interesting Man I Know:

  1. Matt tells stories. He doesn’t simply relate an anecdote. He spins a good yarn. When Matt tells a story, everyone within earshot is caught up in it. He is HILARIOUS.
  2. Matt loves people. He loves to find interesting people and introduce them to each other. He has found the ultimate vehicle for this with his weekly radio show, “Radio Voices” which is broadcasted at 104.1 fm on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. You can also tune in via the web.
  3. Matt lives and works in a digital world, but his brain is analog. To that end, his life is indexed and annotated manually. He has the most elaborate, yet simple, method of keeping track of his wild machinations. I fear revealing the specifics of his secret will leave him vulnerable to attack, though, so I will refrain.
  4. Matt is a super hero. (Hence my reticence to divulge his method of organization) He is Storm Shadow of the California Cobras. Watch closely, or you’ll miss him. That’s how ninja-like he is:
  5. Matt does all this AND holds down a real-life, actual, career-type, job-job.
  6. Matt has invented his own genre of music. It’s called “Story Rock.” And it rules. His band is called, Matt Holdaway’s Army. You can download some of his stuff through iTunes. You can find him on Rhapsody. And on ReverbNation. And seriously, how much does Matt kick ass?:

So, yeah, Matt’s pretty f***ing cool. But what do I REALLY love about Matt? What is the thing that makes him the Most Interesting Man I Know? He tells the truth. Always. To everyone. He’s not afraid of what the truth will do to anyone. And he does it with a pure heart. Maybe mischievous. Sometimes salacious. but never malicious.

I have been preoccupied, as of late, with what to do next. This 101 day project is coming to a close, for better or for worse, in just 13 days. (Look for big updates!) With all I’ve been ruminating on truth, excess, healthy habits and letting go, I’ve been at a loss as to which of my interests will bare the closest scrutiny. What “voice” of mine is the loudest?  As of today, I have finally decided.

At the end of this 101 day project I will close this site and leave it as a standalone reminder of a journey I took to remember who I really was. The blog I will begin, on the first day of spring, will be about The Truth. I will tell my truth. I will ask others to tell theirs. I will talk about what “truth” means. I hope to discuss with everyone the truth about control, habits, possessions and love. I hope this can be done largely through stories. I’m going to need help, but I’m excited.

So THANK YOU, Matt Holdaway, for being such a good friend, for always telling the truth and for helping me find the next step on my path. You rule. Gooooooooooooo, Bobcats!

Still want more? Subscribe to Matt’s YouTube Channel.

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Telling the Truth Includes Behaving Accordingly

Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911

The truth is a subject that’s been on my mind almost incessantly over the last month or two. The more I think about truth, the more I realize how multifaceted it is. The truth is both quantitative and qualitative. It is harsh and it is kind. It is obvious and it is subtle. Today I think I have decided on one more thing about truth. Truth is not deceitful. If a person knows a truth about themselves and chooses to be vague about that truth, that lie of omission is just as harmful, if not more so, than an outright fabrication.

This snippet comes from “Rhetoric 101”:

Lie of omission – “A lie of omission is a method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person’s capacity to make an informed decision.”

And it’s not just Lies of Omission that contribute to altering someone’s ability to make informed decisions. Other tools of deceit include:

Concealment: omitting information that is important or relevant to the given context, or engaging in behavior that helps hide relevant information. And my personal favorite: Understatements: minimization or downplaying aspects of the truth. (Deception)

And one more thing, I have been naive enough in my day to have believed someone could tell me the truth while they lied to someone else. I know now that that is impossible. It is impossible to be honest with one person if you are lying to another. The truth gets jumbled up somewhere in the middle, and soon what was once the truth is lost forever.

Here are some goodies — Reminders to us all about telling the truth — to ourselves and to everyone else.

A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.  ~Charles Edward Montague, Disenchantment

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.  ~Aristotle

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.  ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911

A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.  ~Author Unknown

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Need a Little Boost? Got Five Minutes?

I found this video today after looking around for something positive to boost my mood. While it is a tad on the cheeze-whiz side, I like it. It talks about a subject I’ve been going on and on about lately — the value of stories. Specifically, the value of everyone telling their true stories.

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How to Tell the Truth About Tricky Things

Dad and Me

I love my Dad!

Over the last 72 days of this 101 day project, I have had a lot of opportunity to reflect on what it means to tell the truth. A big part of this Excess Emancipation project is the letting go of old baggage that no longer serves me. The biggest step I have made in that direction has been deciding to say, out loud, what is true for me. About everything.

I was taught, as I am sure you were too, that we should keep some things to ourselves in order to spare others’ feelings. While I think there is merit in that for some cases, I also think that in most situations, it is not helpful.

Let’s look at one of my stories. When I was 17, I had an argument with my dad that escalated into a full blown screaming match and ended with me standing on a chair, in the middle of the office, crying.

That statement is just a statement of fact. The argument happened. It escalated. I ended up standing on a chair in the middle of the office, crying.

What I do next with that fact is where it gets tricky. My experience was, that in that particular incident, I was standing up for what was right and got ridiculed for it. Who knows if that is actually what happened? Who cares? That is what I experienced, and only by telling the truth about our experiences can we move past them.

But how can I say that out loud? I have no desire to cause him any pain. How can I say what was true for me without hurting my sweet father’s feelings? Maybe I can’t. Would my dad feel bad if he read the paragraphs above? Perhaps. Would he agree with what happened? Maybe. Maybe not. Would he think I was just being a silly girl? Probably. But maybe not. Does any of that matter? I assert that no, it does not. NOT if I am simply telling the truth about what I experienced.

And this is why:

My dad is a grown man. He raised 10 kids. He is a great man who has helped many people. He loves his kids no matter what sticky situation we manage to get ourselves into. I promise, he has weathered far greater storms than me saying we got in a fight once. He knows I love him. I know he loves me. Do either of us have any illusions that the other is perfect? Absolutely not. I have enough faith in our relationship that I can tell the truth about it. And I have enough faith in him that he can handle it. After all, I am simply stating my experience, and that is the key.

If I had claimed that, “My dad provoked me because he hated it when I wore blue,” then that would not be my truth. That would be a wild guess about him. We have to be careful not to try to state “truths” about other people. We have no idea what they are. We can say what our perspective was, what we know our experience was, but anything more than that is conjecture.

I assert that if we freely state what is true for us, if we speak our truth, without name calling or judgements, it will, indeed, set us free. I have found that no matter how difficult the topic, if I stick to how life has affected me, the people I care about have not only accepted it, but have been very supportive.

Having said all that, I am lucky. I do not suggest anyone go around boldly speaking their truth directly to people who are emotionally, mentally or physically abusive. They will not hear it. No good can come from it. You put yourself in danger and are “casting pearls before swine.” Take care of yourself first. Make sure you are safe. Then, find your voice and shout from the rooftops.

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God Would Let Me Live In His Poolhouse

I feel like God's pool house will have a very Frank Lloyd Wright vibe to it.

I have spent a lot of time, over the last 20 years, ruminating on my reasons for leaving the Mormon church. I had many. Some were big. Others, admittedly petty. But the main reason was because I grew up feeling like shit. There was always a part of me that knew I was going to hell and tried hard to convince the rest of me that I was a monster. At the same time, the bigger part of me was constantly trying to calm down. I would whisper things to myself during particularly offensive sermons things like, “don’t panic,” and, “this guy can’t possibly be right.”

I should add that I DO think that a lot of the “crazy” I was exposed to was because of the radicalism in the tiny town I lived in, and not actually a part of the larger Mormon church.

My leaving the church was based entirely on my gut. For many years, I wouldn’t let myself read any of the many well-documented, historical accounts of Joseph Smith’s time that clearly dispute everything I was taught. Reading of any facts that are not church-sanctioned is forbidden. I was still so indoctrinated that I hadn’t yet realized that no one should shy away from any truth. I don’t just choose not to learn about any other subject out of fear it might change my mind. So, the fact-finding phase eventually came. In the end, it made no difference to me. I knew what I knew. It did, however, spark a fair amount of rage that I was ever subjected to such crazy-making. I wish I had no anger, but there it is. I am, for the most part, over it.

It was my daughter who helped me get over the “hump” about being okay with my choice to leave the church. I would look at my daughter and think, “There is nothing she could ever do, or not do, that would make me withhold my love.” I knew, from the second she was born, that even if she turned out to be a carnival madame, I would never stop loving her or wanting her with me. I knew, that as long as I lived, she would always find shelter in my home.

Knowing this truth led me to the greatest breakthrough I would ever have. I realized it was simply illogical to believe that a supreme being, like the Mormon God (who is said to be all-powerful, all-knowing and who loves us more than a parent loves a child. In fact, he is referred to as our “Heavenly Father” almost exclusively) would have sent down a list of requirements which, upon failing to follow, would result in our not being able to live in his neighborhood. As I watched my sweet daughter sleeping one night I realized that not only was the aforementioned completely irrational, so is the idea that in order to remain in our family units in heaven that there are a bunch of other “to do’s” on God’s list for us.

I used to play out the scenario of me dying, in my mind, and going to God for judgement. I would hear Him saying to me, “Now Rebecca, I told you that if you didn’t get married in the temple to a nice Mormon boy that you couldn’t live up here in our section of heaven and furthermore, you are now stripped of your family.” The whole idea, to me, is completely, totally and utterly preposterous.

I do not base my love or support or affection or shelter or help or anything on a sliding scale of Hannah’s obedience to me. It would be crazy to do so. And if it would be so ridiculous for me to do that, then why does it seem rational that God would do that? It just doesn’t jive. (As an aside, I know there are a bunch of you saying to yourselves, “You just don’t understand the nature of God,” I must interject that, no, I do not, but neither do you. And for those of you who are now adding in, “It is not ours to understand, all will be revealed,” I have to say, I totally agree.)

Nowadays I see others like me everywhere. They shuffle listlessly around Salt Lake area malls with blank faces and bags bursting with RC Willey bric-a-brac. They are good people. They don’t know why they are so depressed. They feel trapped. They double-down on the depression by seeing their sadness as further evidence of their failure to be the perfect mormon. They believe that “living the gospel” perfectly is the ONLY way they will ever feel peace. They are people who are wracked with guilt and who carry the heavy burden of knowing they haven’t gotten God’s To-do list done. It breaks my heart to see their needless suffering. And make no mistake, they are suffering, and it is needless.

Don’t get me wrong! I LOVE MORMONS. Maybe not the dogma, but the people, in general, I like. They are my people, after all. I do not doubt my Mother’s sincere love and belief in the mormon church. I do not judge her faith. It is a pure and beautiful thing. For her, I actually hope it is ALL true. She deserves a house right next to God’s in the hereafter. I am happy for the thousands of mormons out there who find their happiness through the church. I am grateful for their generally positive belief system. I know that one of the reasons I love it in SLC is because a large percentage of the population has taken 2 years out of their lives and given it to the service of humanity across the globe. I think “the church” is, mostly, a force for good — no matter what it’s based on.

But, for those of you who have read this missive and thought, “How sad for her that she missed the message,” or, “She must have read some anti-mormon literature,” or, “God loves us, he just hates certain behaviors,” or, “Women can’t hold the priesthood because they already have the gift of childbearing,” or any other common platitude, let me bear you my testimony:

I know that there is truth in all things, but no one thing can contain all truth. Just as you know, with all your “heart, might, mind and strength” that the mormon church is the only “true” church, I know with equal vigor that, if there is a great white God who sits on high, he and I are good. He loves me. In fact, He loves everything about me. He thinks I am earnest, hilarious, sweet and sincere. He cracks up at my hijinks and cries about my many failures. And if, when I die, I meet Him on the other side, I know He would let me live in his pool house if I wanted to. He would find all my family who had gone before and they’d throw me a party. He would just be glad to see me again. Period.

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