I haven’t been able to track down a single person to whom I can give credit for this saying, if one even exists. I’ve gotten hits from Dr. Seuss and C.S. Lewis to article titles and sayings that look like this but aren’t. So it’s going uncredited but hopefully the message will still sink in.
It’s a complicated world that we live in so why do we insist on making it more difficult? Why do people so often lack the courage to say what they really want to, what they really mean, and instead force other people to “interpret” what they are truly trying to say.
And on the flip side, most people lie like they breathe. Not always about something important but more often than not, they tell you something they don’t mean, to keep from hurting your feelings or rocking the boat, or give you a promise they don’t intend to keep.
Honesty can suck. It can be hurtful, even unintentionally. But I think it’s worth it. I would rather have a complete stranger tell me something embarrassing, like you have food in your teeth or your skirt is tucked into your underwear, than to have someone I trust not tell me those things.
And when it comes to building trust and respect, we can’t do that if we don’t truly understand the other person and what their needs are. So why don’t we take a day and practice a little honesty and specificity of words and see where we end up? I think in the long run, you will discover what I have, that if you say what you mean, and mean what you say, the world doesn’t seem so confusing and you can be a happier human being.