aw…. sniff sniff…
Here’s the deal. I am not going to hold back from saying the truth because the truth might hurt your feelings. Your hurt feelings do not trump true facts.
I’m not talking about trash talking or being mean. You’re fat. You’re stupid and mean. Name-calling. Clearly, THAT kind of talk, the kind that is INTENDED to hurt your feelings, is not something that people really ought to be doing. Especially Christian type people.
I’m not talking about being judgy, either. For example, a common complaint around the groups I’m in is the grandparents who just can’t seem to stop telling their kids how to parent. “You’re doing it wrong.” “When you were that age, I…” “He’s too old to be nursing.” “She’d be better off in regular school.”
But what I’m talking about is true facts.
A study just came out about a possible link between Pitocin and Autism. And I saw more discussion on hurt feelings than I did about the actual science going on with that study. But I used Pitocin, that makes me feel bad. Really? Well, too bad for you. I sound heartless, don’t I? But can you seriously be suggesting that we NOT share facts like this because it will hurt some people’s feelings?? (Maybe we shouldn’t have revealed that Thalidomide resulted in serious birth defects, to avoid hurting the feelings of those mothers who’d taken it.)
Breast is Best campaigns are too often halted because of hurt feelings. “But it makes moms who didn’t or couldn’t breastfeed feel bad.” Yeah, again, so what? It doesn’t make it any less true – and it doesn’t make it any less important to get this information out there so that future mothers have more true facts on which to base their decision-making.
Or let’s say that someone talks about giving raw honey to babies. And someone else points out that that’s not generally regarded as safe, hoping to save some parents reading the conversation from dealing with infant botulism (which is a small small risk, but a risk nonetheless). Should that person refrain from saying anything because it might hurt the feelings of the person making the raw honey recommendation? Of course not!!
If someone is stating untrue things as true facts, should everyone else go along with it because to disagree with the “facts” under discussion might hurt someone’s feelings? I hope everyone reading this can agree that that would be silly at best, and harmful at worst.
All that said, I will not refrain from stating true facts, or from correcting the untrue facts stated by others, simply because it might hurt someone’s feelings.
Even if hurting their feelings means being the recipient of extremely mature name-calling. Because, ultimately, what people say in their angry lashing-out is completely insignificant when compared with the risks of keeping quiet. Truth is stronger.
And, as the Good Book says, the truth will set you free…