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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %APPROPRIATE OPENNESS AND HONESTY NOT CONTROL 880918 Honest statements can be used to exercise inappropriate control over other people. Open and honest expressions of feelings can be used to embarrass other people. True statements can be use to do violence to people at times when they are vulnerable. People can be violated by demands that they be open and honest when they do not wish to be open and honest. Openness and honesty are not ultimate criteria. It is NOT true that actions are integrative if and only if they are open and honest. Actions which are both open and honest can be manipulative, embarrassing, violent and disintegrative. This fact does not mean that openness and honesty are of little worth. Openness and honesty are of great worth in contexts where they are not demanded, not manipulative, not deliberately embarrassing, not violent, not disintegrative. Openness and honesty may be compulsive and inappropriate; then they are not likely to be integrative. Openness and honesty may be unwelcome and intrusive. There are times when it is appropriate to be open and honest, and there are times to refrain from being open and honest. Wisdom and love know the difference between the two kinds of times. We may feel that we can never safely be open and honest about some significant aspects of our lives: some of our thoughts, feelings, desires, opinions, fears, concerns, etc. If there are significant aspects of our lives which we can never safely share with others, there is something seriously wrong with our lives and/or with the life of our community. Every member of every community should have opportunities to be open and honest about all significant aspects of their lives. Communal life should assure this. A community is disintegrating if any of its members can rarely safely be open and honest with another person and also with a small group of people about each significant aspect of their life. Not every situation calls for openness and honesty, but every significant aspect of one's life calls for some situation in which each significant aspect can be shared openly and honestly. If such opportunities for openness and honesty are lacking, the community is disintegrating, and integrative efforts are overdue. The way to move from a lack of integrity in personal and communal life, to lives of personal and communal integrity, is to agree on the importance of personal and communal integrity, above and beyond the importance of ideals and values which threaten personal and communal integrity when they are regarded as of ultimate importance. Personal and communal integrity are impossible in the absence of opportunities to be safely open and honest about each significant aspect of one's life. Such security in the presence of vulnerability is essential to personal and communal integrity. It is a security which each member of a community should be given by the community to promote personal and communal integrity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================