THE MONTH OF APRIL is framed by two conflicting holidays. On April 1, we celebrate April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on one another. The last day of the month is National Honesty Day, which is thought to be a response to all of the beginning of the month’s falsehoods. On National Honesty Day, when asked a question one should respond with a truthful and straightforward response. While I have heard of many people participating in April Fools’ Day, I have never heard of anyone observing National Honesty Day. I think the popularity of these days is reflective of our society’s interest in the ideas they are grounded in. Fooling others for one’s own benefit is much more common than open and genuine exchanges with one another.
This is perhaps most apparent in our sexual and emotional lives. Far too often we find out that someone we trusted has deceived us and hurt us in the process. Sometimes, deception is very straightforward and malicious. More often, it is the result of a lack of communication and expression of needs and desires. Whatever the cause, I assume that most of our readers can relate to playing the fool at some point in their life. Maybe some would even admit to fooling someone else.
So why is honesty so difficult? Many are not honest with themselves, so being true to someone else is almost impossible. We are constantly policing our own desires based on what society has told us we should want. If you don’t want to be in a committed relationship, why make someone else think that is what you want, only to hurt them in the end? Why continue to have one-night-stands and casual hook-ups if what you want is a committed relationship? Figure out what you desire and then work on finding someone in a similar place.
The second aspect of honesty is being real with others. Express what you want clearly without hurting the other person. Don’t pretend to be in a relationship with someone in order to get sex on a regular basis. If you are looking for a “friends with benefits” situation, let that other person know. It will save both of you a lot of pain, frustration and anger in the long run. Some people feel that being too honest can hurt other's feelings or make them feel objectified. While this is true, hurting someone before they really know you and become attached is much better than revealing yourself later on and making that person feel like a pawn in your game of deception. Strive for more open and honest connections and don’t let yourself become the fool.