The Lost Art of Honesty


Cynthia Sawtelle, Staff

Our world has changed. Honesty seems to be something that is not important, and one thing I’ve noticed is anyone will say anything just to look good. Anything. An exchange of ideas and opinions that are different is practically unheard of, and I often find people talking about the same things over and over. Safe topics are discussed. Open-mindedness is non-existent.  


This especially is hidden away in Fredericksburg. We hide our depression and our deep family secrets. We hide that we are struggling to pay rent; that our son is gay. You never know what you get when it comes to residents of Fredericksburg. We know everyone in this small town, and yet we know nothing about who they truly are. I have plenty of relatives in this town who barely know anything about me, and I barely know anything about them. If you ever do know anything about anyone, it’s most likely because you heard it from someone else. 


One thing I have noticed is some are willing to partially share the truth. I find many will tell half the truth, or take the truth and twist it. But telling the whole truth is something that is rare. I think this is because everyone feels like they need to make everyone else comfortable. The truth is avoided because it is uncomfortable, and it might risk your chances of being liked by others, and the majority of people feel they need to be liked. I know I want to be liked, which keeps me from saying certain things about myself. Authenticity is difficult. Being authentic about your struggles and who you are feels impossible when you have to put on a different face most of the time. 


Through being ourselves, we find who our people are, and our life starts to come together. I believe if we could all be honest, it would radically change our lives. Honesty has been proven to make people feel more free and happier overall. If we could all be authentic with ourselves and others, we wouldn’t have to be around people we don’t like. We could save ourselves from heartbreak, and find people whom we were made to be friends with. 


I would like to propose something. I challenge you, as someone who lives in Fredericksburg, to say something you wouldn’t normally say. I challenge you to tell your mom you have anxiety. I challenge you to tell that person you like them. I challenge you to talk about that interest that maybe you thought was a little weird. I challenge you to be unashamed of who you are, and be proud of your quirks or traits that might not necessarily fit the mold. I challenge you to be honest with yourselves and others.