We’re taught to tell the truth from a very early age. There is even a
Commandment stating “Thou shall not lie” and a further commandment stating
“though shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour”, which translates into,
you shouldn’t lie when testifying against your fellow man. Seems pretty clear,
doesn’t it? Don’t lie.
But do we even know what the truth is? At dictionary.com truth is defined as “the
true or actual state of matter” So, is there any room here for interpretation? or is
it “black and white”? It would seem from the definition and the commandments.
it is very straight forward Absolutely no lying!
My sister and I were grown and out on our own… Brenda (13 months my junior)
was living in a college residence at Dalhousie University. I was in Annapolis Royal,
boarding with the wonderful Lane Family (an experience which forever shaped my
life for the better!).
Late one night, my sister calls. She tells me of the most recent events in her life.
She wanted “to talk” She’s audibly uncertain about some of these events, but,
she had reached adulthood and I suppose talking to her big sister was preferable
to confiding in her dorm mates.
There were some life-changing things happening in her life.. things that would
impact her outlook to her future. She was talking very slowly, as if choosing her
words very carefully. I could tell she was having a hard time getting her words
out, almost stuttering trying to explain so I could understand “where she was
coming from” At times, I strained to be sure I got the entire story I had difficulty
hearing her. she had done something ..something I didn’t agree with. There was
a huge silence on both ends of the phone. I proceeded to tell her my feelings on
the subject…. more silence… deeper silence…… Was she crying?
I couldn’t sleep that night. I called her first thing the next morning. I was finally
realizing something. Remembering the previous evening, It occurred to me that
Brenda hadn’t called for my advice. She hadn’t asked for my opinion. The next
morning I apologized for being judgemental,, when really it wasn’t my place or my
Why, oh, why, couldn’t I have done that to begin with?
To this day, my stomach churns and my eyes ear up thinking how all Brenda
wanted was to talk to maybe get an encouraging word maybe an “it’ll be okay”.
But NO! I had to tell her how I was feelings about it. My truth!
About a year ago, My good friend, Anna, was here at my home for a small get-
together. After almost everyone was gone, three of us were left sitting around the
Kitchen table. telling “tales from the heart, which tends to happen at kitchen
tables. The topic somehow turned to “truth” and how we deal with it. Anna said
how she was talking to a young member of her family with whom she’s quite
close. He was doing things with his life that seemed to be potentially taking him
down the wrong path. being older and more experienced with life, Anna
explained how she expressed her fears to the young man. It was her truth. Our
other friend asked if Anna felt better after giving her opinion, Anna said no, she
really didn’t But, it’s a good question .
It’s clear, in both of these circumstances, the receiver of our truth had not
requested it, but both Anna and I felt completely justified at the time sharing our
Why do we feel we need to give our “advice in these types of situations? Is it to
make us feel we’ve done everything we can to help the other person? Or is it to
demonstrate our superior knowledge? Did they want or need our help? With
Anna’s loved one as with my sister, both were telling the elder family member of
events in their lives.
I know in my own situation with my sister, I succeeded in making my sister feel
unloved and misunderstood, not my intent at all!
Do you have a situation where you’ve shared unsolicited advice. that you’d like to
share? Become a follower and tell us your experience!