Tell the Truth, All the Time, with Compassion
I’m not sure I’m allowed to use this picture of David Wood, but I’m going to do it anyway, and I suspect David will not sue me for it. He’s not that kind of guy.
I discovered David Wood via Dean Dwyer, who interviewed him about his remarkable life – growing up in England, leaving school at 15, working as a window washer, then travelling the world for over 10 years before settling in Canada and becoming a multi-millionaire.
David is a “trainer’s trainer” – he discovered that his passion lay in helping people lead the lives they want, and that is a quest I am quite serious about these days (heck, I’m fifty years old and STILL not sure what I want to be when I grow up, although I’m getting a better idea thanks to people like Dean and David). I’ve been listening to his podcast The Kickass Life for a few months now, and enjoying it very much. So why am I blogging about it now?
I got a little behind with the podcasts, what with the holidays and all, and was listening to Podcast number 053, released on October 30th, while doing my Shabbat cooking yesterday. I was stunned to hear him read out and praise a review that I’d left on iTunes a little while back. It’s about 4 minutes in. In particular, I’d forgotten that I’d mentioned one line of his, which had caught Dean Dwyer’s attention and also mine. Here it is:
Tell the truth, all the time, with compassion.
Now, I don’t think of myself as a liar, but you know those casual little white lies we all indulge in – saying we were caught in traffic when we really left the house too late, for example. It really is a trivial thing, but I think it shows a deeper mindfulness to find a way to apologise for being late without lying or being hurtful.
It’s also a matter of courage, of taking responsibility for your decisions. If I decide to keep one of my kids home from school because I think they need the day off, I don’t say they are sick. I don’t hide receipts from my husband and I don’t sneak things into my kids’ food.
Sometimes life is harder when you decide to tell the truth all the time, but so far I haven’t regretted it. My late grandmother was the kind to rub your face in her version of the truth whether you wanted it or not, and that’s not what I’m doing. I might choose not to volunteer information if I can’t think of a compassionate way of sharing it. But I think it is a great maxim to live by.
What do you think?