Is what you see, what you get? Or is what you get, what you see? This may be a strange way to tackle the subject of ‘honesty’. However, in most cases, before we learn the content of any book or the substance of any person, what we see is what we get. We’re dealing with the word ‘honesty’ today which is a small variant from the word ‘true’. Do you generally say what you mean or is it for some that you mean what you say? This may be the cause for many problems in our interpersonal relationships. Why? Because our eyes often interpret something different from what our ears hear; and what our ears hear may be in conflict with what our hearts feel. In this situation it’s what our mouths say that becomes most important in interpersonal communication.
Do YOU always speak the truth? What makes our expressions, whether verbal or nonverbal, indicative of truth is whether or not we are able to say and express congruency with how we actually feel and think. ‘Formalities’ is an interesting study because it challenges us to speak truth with the adjustment in language that prevents offense and exhibits compassion or other people’s sentiments or/and sensibilities. This is considered a courtesy amongst civilized people to always consider, regardless of your truth, who you are delivering a message to.
My father, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, taught and reminded us that we should THINK five times before we speak. Some of us antagonizingly think we’re being courageous in telling certain truths with the simple defense that “it’s true!” (smile). However, this will no doubt injure your potential good relationship for lack of tact and/or failure to be considerate of the other person’s feelings and state of mind. Can the person I’m speaking to handle the truth? Meaning can they be responsible for a truth that you may want to convey? For this you must be sensitive to the condition of the other person. It’s not so simple to communicate truth to someone else, let alone accept it in yourself. No! I am not alluding to mixing truth with falsehood in order to please and/or appease another person. However, there are ways that we can convey truth compassionately with consideration of how to get the truth across and through the other person’s DISPOSITION.
Do you love your brother and/or your sister as you love yourself? I once asked the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for the best way to approach people that I did not know. And his response to me was to simply approach others in the same manner that I would want them to approach me. From this principle I must discipline myself to address anyone, including my intimate family members starting with my wife and my most precious children, with consideration of not only their needs but also their SENSITIVITIES.
The Minister gave me an example of a born again Christian who was excited about either the church he or she joined, or a revelatory study that they had made that brought them into an intrapersonal awareness of the Words of Jesus. In this example, the Minister was showing me how often the wonderful experience and resulting excitement, when shared with a perfect stranger, could cause them to appear fanatical. ‘Fanatical’ means “Filled with excessive and single-minded zeal” (lexico dot com powered by Oxford).
Only because I have a habit of defining words for clarity and inspiration to further develop my overall thinking, I’d like us to look at the word ‘zealot’ which is what, if possible, we would like to avoid becoming with anything that may not be a shared energy by another. Our zeal is not necessarily wrong, and a lack of zeal is not necessarily right. But we want to point out the definition given for the descriptive energy of zeal in order to avoid becoming an uncompassionate and inconsiderate ZEALOT. Zealot: (Noun) “A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.” (lexico dot com powered by Oxford). While we admire the strength and integrity that many exhibit in their thoughts and feelings about this, that and the other, when looking at a zealot whose expression in words and actions are very strong, where is the quality of compassion? As married couples, family members, friends and coworkers, we must always exhibit compassion in our expression about how we feel and think about anything and most certainly anyone so as to avoid losing something that’s extremely important for a civilized people to exhibit which is respect and LOVE.
Remember, ‘love’ according to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is a “creative force” and does not require being loved to love. So what is our excuse for love not being the fundamental quality in everything we say and do to and with the ones we claim to love?… Well, I think you can fill in the rest as this is a rhetorical question that we should ask ourselves every time we choose to hold back this universal and most powerful divine force, especially from your brother and sister who obviously are lacking it. Stop defending yourself along the lines of what the other person didn’t do or say to you! Start asking yourself why you did not exhibit it yourself. Remember, love is a verb. It is proactive! Reactive love is the cheapest kind of expression that invariably will not support the trials of a relationship. Love someone because they need it and not IF they deserve it. People who give according to whether or not another has merited it are not acting on love in its purest sense. Love is charity! Charity as love is when you give of yourself without any EXPECTATIONS in return!
Remember as we close for now, the Lord is our Shepherd, and we shall not want nor shall we grieve because He loves us. 😇