many years ago,
the rebbe pulled me aside
and told me he wanted me to understand
the difference between being honest and being truthful.
i was perplexed.
he continued saying
“always be honest but not always truthful”
i was perplexed and so he explained the following situation.
if a man were to come home and tell his wife
i thought about you almost every moment of the day
except for about 15 seconds when this beautiful woman walked by.
this would be truthful but not honest.
what do you think his wife would hear.
would she would remember
that for 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 45 seconds
that he thought of her.
or would she only hear the 15 seconds
that he looked at someone else.
the truth did not allow the honesty to be seen.
honesty would be to come home and say,
“baby, i love you so much,
i thought about you almost every minute of the day today.”
perhaps it is because i do it so much in my life
that i see it so much in others.
why do we spend our time being truthful
but not being honest
thinking only of the 15 seconds?
i used to judge a whole religion, because of a few.
i look in the mirror and see my flaws rather than my strengths
i remember the moments i made a mistake,
rather than the life that i have lived gloriously.
do you do this too?
here is my promise to myself
and because we are all connected in the beautiful mosaic of life
to you as well.
i will choose to be honest with myself more that truthful
i will allow all of the moments to make up my present
i will see the totality of the mosaic
rather than get lost in the individual broken pieces.
let’s remember our world is amazingly beautiful
and the vast, vast, vast majority of the people living here
are kind and loving and want to live in peace.
even those who are caught in a belief of the moment
where they feel destruction is the only way to speak their truth
may we pray from our own experience
that together we see honestly
not only the 15 seconds
but the 23 hours, 59 minutes, 45 seconds
that make up who we are on a day to day basis.
to me, this is the miracle of the holiday of hanukkah,
the celebration of the birth of jesus at christmas
the principles and symbols of kwanza
the glory of the festivals of lights
we are one mosaic,
one exquisite piece of art
made up of all of our moments
what will we focus on,
the necessary parts on the mosaic that are filled with darkness
or the totality of the mosaic that makes us light.
i know which one i choose. how about you?