Thursday, April 23, 2009

White Lies - Part One

Does anyone else ever struggle with wanting to be an honest yet positive person?

I just watched an excellent short called “validation”. Jeff Hawker posted it on his blog and I highly recommend it as well.

The lead character is basically nothing but positive all of the time. In the film he comes across as completely sincere, and genuine, however I get the feeling like if a person had his traits in real life most people would want to punch him in the face after about 10 minutes.

In real life is it that we hate non-stop positivity, or is it that we just think it’s impossible, and therefore hate insincerity?

In “Validation” the main characters incessant positivity bring about favor for both him and the people he interacts with. I don’t think real life is far from that. I’m not a fan of Oprah Winfrey, her housewife salt water taffy loving cult or “The Secret”, but I do believe that words are a powerful thing.

You can create, or destroy with words; you can lift up or cut down. The bible uses the metaphor of a snakes venom for some peoples words, yet the bible also says that God used words to bring the entire universe into being.

A classmate of mind had decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry after high school. His parting words to me in my year book were “Tony, when I get big and famous I’ll make sure to forget all the little people, but not you because you’re F’ing huge”. The same person also once said “you fail at life”. Meaning, I suppose, that if life were a game, or a task, that I, at the age or 16, or soon there after, would have failed at it. Not the nicest things to say, and to be honest I’m pretty sure I’ll remember them for the rest of my life. Every time I get worried about my future I think about that phrase “failing at life”. It brings me back to all of the insecurities and uncertainties that filled my, and most other peoples adolescencent years.

On the other side of the coin someone else once said “Tony, I like the fact that you always speak respectfully of your parents”. When she said it I thought, either this person doesn’t know me well at all, or I’ve been lying to her, a lot. I thought about what she said often. It weighed heavily on me, but more than anything it gave me a standard that I wanted to live up to. I’m nowhere near perfect, but I always try and speak positively about my parents now, and I can say that it’s as a direct result of that comment.

Words are certainly powerful.

I want so desperately to be like the lead in “Validation”; to walk around bringing joy and life to people; to bring real and genuine positivity to every situation that I’m a part of, but I more often than not struggle to find the good in everything. Some things are easy; if I go see a really bad band I can say something like “man your drummer is solid”. I can leave out the fact that the guitars were out of tune and that their singer sounds like a tone deaf version of Brad Roberts (lead singer of Crash Test Dummies).

Some conversations are decidedly more difficult, so much so that I find it hard to see anything positive in them.

Is it OK to lie if it’s to spare some ones feelings?

Check back for part two in a couple of days to read more of my thoughts on the topic.



  1. Very deep, Tony. But no, I would say it's not okay to lie to spare someone's feelings. Insincerity is what has gotten a lot of people into the messes that they are in. Sometimes, it's best to say nothing at all if you are that concerned about how the other person feels. The power of words is amazing though, they have the potential to change someone forever.

  2. Love the Blog Tony, You're ability to reach people on an emotional level to prokove thoughts that will better us as people is quite impressive.
    However I think agree with the comment above, that it's not ok to lie. A person can be honest and still positive. This disposition will allow your friends and those around you really value your opinion, because they know that you can always trust you to tell the truth.
    In terms of "failing at life" you need to erase that memory and grow a new one. Check out my blog on "healthy thoughts". Not only are words that other people say powerful but so is your self talk.

  3. I'd love to read or watch some new stuff tony. Dont let a job and other thing get in the way! ;)

  4. That movie was pretty sweet. I think your right, I know a few people who are positive all the time, every time you ask, "how is it going" they say "Oh Exellent" There nothing wrong with Trying to be positive but Faking positiveness (if thats a word) can get very annoying