All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor. – Walt Whitman
What does that mean?
I like this quote because it gives me hope. I have many faults, but I also try to strive for transparency and honesty. The quote says that people are far more willing to forgive a person who admits their faults.
Candor is defined at thefreedictionary.com as “sincerity of expression; openness.” So the quote is saying that if you have perfect sincerity and openness about your faults, you will be completely forgiven.
Given how far from perfect most humans seem to be, this quote seems more of a wise guideline, rather than a hard and fast rule. The quote urges us to be as sincere and as open about our faults as we can be, and to hope for forgiveness of those faults.
Why is candor important?
Candor is all about being open, sincere, and honest. It is about being truthful and transparent. Maintaining the fewest possible secrets and being straightforward about both the good and the bad.
It’s not about running around and telling everyone you meet all of your faults and running yourself down. Can you imagine how miserable someone would be if they behaved in that manner?
Instead, when asked, be candid and state the answer. Whether it is acknowledging a strength or a fault, be as precise as necessary, hide nothing, but keep it as short as possible. Not everyone wants to hear a litany of all your faults, listed in all of their glorious details.
Candor helps develop trust, and people you feel are trustworthy are usually a little easier to forgive of their minor transgressions. Sometimes, even their larger faults can be overlooked, if they readily admit them, and are willing to entertain ideas on how to improve or avoid future problems.
Where can I apply this in my life?
There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of “Honesty is everything, and once you can fake that, you’ve got it made!” There isn’t much I can do to help you be honest if you are not. I can only hope that you see the benefit and decide to improve your honesty on your own.
That said, let’s look at why you are less candid about some aspects of your life that you are about other aspects. Think about all the different aspects of your life about which you have been a little bit (or perhaps a lot) secretive.
If you are brave enough, grab some paper and make a list of a few of them, and then answer each of the questions for each one of them.
- What are you trying to hide?
- From whom are you trying to hide it?
- Why don’t you want people to know?
- How long do you expect to keep the secret?
- Where is this going to hurt you?
- When will you finally tell others about it?
Once you have done that, either on paper or in your head, probe a little deeper. Question each answer, and dig deeper. When I did so, I found that my underlying insecurity was my desire to always have an answer, to be the person who knew, and am therefore a bit reluctant to admit that I don’t know something.
Now that you know a little more about your faults, select a lesser one on which to start working. Now that you know all the reasons you don’t want others to know about this fault, how bad is it really? If you chose something fairly minor, the answer probably is that it’s not really that bad.
However, admitting it in public still might be difficult, so let’s start with a list of all the things you can do once you get it out in the open. For me, admitting that I don’t know means I can assign the finding of the answer back on the asker, or have them come with me on a journey of discovery.
For me, that relieves the burden of having to always know (and be correct), and allows me to help others work on their research skills. It also frees me from the dread of getting something wrong and losing my reputation as the brightest person on the planet.
All kidding aside, if you look at the bright side of not hiding a fault, you can actually start working on improving yourself and mending the worst of the fault, right? You also don’t have to worry any more about who might find out or catch you. That alone may be worth the price of admission (that’s a pun, in case I was too subtle).
And remember, this quote also applies in the opposite direction: when others show sincerity and openness, we should try to forgive them their faults. After all, we all have them, right?
From: Twitter, @Toltecjohn
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/waltwhitma146881.html
Photo by hsld
Happy Birthday to Walt Whitman, born 31 May, 1819.