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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Line between Ugly Truth and Mean-Spiritedness

by Daniella Nicole

Those who cherish truth understand that it is not always pretty. As humans, we are prone to do things that are not kind, compassionate or honest, at times. When others refer to these things, they are speaking the truth about us – as ugly as it may be. Part of being an honest person entails taking responsibility for those ugly truths that apply to who we are, past or present.

However, there is a distinct difference between an ugly truth and downright mean-spiritedness. Truth is based in fact. Mean-spiritedness can contain elements of truth in it, but it is always accompanied by something more. There is always a seed of contentiousness mixed in. When labeling, name-calling, humiliation, hate, jealousy, pettiness, hostility or any other type of negativity are present, the line has been crossed from presenting an ugly truth to displaying sheer mean-spiritedness.

There can be great purpose behind presenting ugly truths. There is none, other than being ugly, in being mean-spirited. Ugly truths say something about the person to whom they refer. Mean-spiritedness only speaks about the person being so. If you truly feel it is relevant to share an ugly truth about someone, the focus should logically be on truth and fact – not opinion, not spin and not humiliation. If you find yourself launching into character assassination, perhaps the character you should be reviewing is your own.

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