Let’s Give Honesty a Try for Once
March 11, 2009
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There are very few things on this university’s campus that bother me enough to sit down and write an editorial about. I rarely get that angry or displeased and, when I do, it rarely lasts long enough to consider writing it here. In fact, I have only done it twice: once for every year I have been enrolled as a student. So I suppose it makes sense that it is that time of year again; time to make the readers of this newspaper rethink some of the things they are doing on a daily basis.
Throughout college, students are expected to be honest. You are told by your professors that cheating is unacceptable. You are expected to be up front to your Residential Assistants when dealing with roommate issues. You are required to go to class everyday: and only skip for legitimate reasons. The university, and a lot of the students in it, pride themselves on being up front, approachable, and “real.”
But let’s be “honest” for a second: no one is ever actually honest. The fact is, even your closest friend is probably slightly lying to you. When you ask your boyfriend (or girlfriend) if you look bad in your favorite pair of jeans, they are probably going to tell you what you want to hear. When you’re fighting with your roommate, they probably are not going to tell you what they just said about you ten seconds before you walked in the room. It is the nature of the American people: we like knowing everything about everyone else (see my last editorial!), but we really want anyone knowing how we truly feel.
So why do we live in a world where being “honest” is constantly expected, but taboo to actually practice? Why can we not attempt to be more honest in our day-to-day lives? Why do we censor ourselves (or our friends), in newspapers, TV, and during social interactions?
My friend (let’s call him Marius for arguments sake) is probably one of the most brutally honest people I know. If you ask how you look in those new jeans, he will actually tell you. If you say something that he does not agree with, he’s the first person to respond with his opinion. He does not censor his words and does not take your emotional response into consideration. He is not a jerk (at least by my standards): he’s just honest. He takes what this university teaches and applies it to real life.
In the end, I am not saying that the university public needs to realize how to be “jerks” and just tell people exactly what they are thinking. That does not really get anywhere. But what I am saying is that we all need to take a page out of Marius’s book. Stop leaving honesty at the classroom door and bring it back to your dorm room; tell your roommate what is actually wrong instead of being dramatic and whispering about it for days. Instead of getting your friends to cover for you every time someone disagrees with your opinion, stand up for yourself. If you’re new jeans do not fit right, stop playing games with your boyfriend and just buy the next size up. Because, in the end, while not everyone is as vocal about honesty as Marius is; the people around you are probably thinking the exact same thing.