We say we want the truth, we declare it to be true even, but we often think ourselves too great for such humility. Surely you were blinded, just as any other, when you first saw the light of the sun and before that your eyes recoiled at the sight of the flames. How many times did you wish to seek the comfort of your shadows? Often I am sure. If these last few lines meant nothing to you it is because you have never read the Allegory of the Cave in Plato’s Republic, if so, please view the video above that my editor is hopefully kind enough to supply, and if he does not just google it. Go on I’ll wait…
...Great, welcome back! If you watched it, and shame on you if you did not, let's move forward. The Allegory of the Cave is a simple explanation of how we respond to truth. We reject truth repeatedly because truth carries with it implications we would rather avoid. In the end, we do not want truth, we want the lie that gives us the ability to love who we are and what we do.
What is offensive? Are insults offensive? They are, but only if you let it be offensive. Imagine if someone was to walk up to someone like Einstein and say, “You are an idiot”. Or to Morgan Freeman and say, “Everyone hates your voice”. Both of these are insults, albeit poorly done. Are either of these offensive? No, because both are untrue, they are lies and as such are empty of content and carry no weight; meaning that neither person should take offense to these statements. Now if these statements were true and both these individuals were under the delusion that the opposite was true, then they would take offense. However, this revelation in no way gives one permission to go about insulting various persons like some belligerent drunkard.
Intentionally trying to hurt someone for the desired purpose of bringing upon their person any portion of anguish is properly looked down upon in our society, and if not it should be. When truth offends, it should be done with a tact that one would only believe existed in one of Jane Austen’s guileful protagonists. By using tact, one is able to effectively turn others on to truth. Think, before you start swinging truth about like Priapus and his special appendage. In short, don’t stand up and yell about all the character flaws and terrible actions of your friends in public just so you can humiliate them, unless they’re cool with it, then, by all means.
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