appealing to the brat in me

The local New Age tabloid has an article about Radical Honesty as espoused by the inimitable Brad Blanton. Blanton is self-described as "white trash with a Ph.D" (U. Tex, 1965--we're not talking about Summit University here, folks).

To be honest, this concept fascinates me. Blanton says:

You can't be "secretly" honest. Being "honest with yourself" is simply not separable from being honest with another. A person who says, "I was honest with myself, but decided not to tell..." is just another miserable liar and will have to suffer the consequences. Sharing honestly, with others present, is the way we can have an authentic relationship with another person.

Blanton believes that " the best way to reduce stress, make life work, and heal the past" is to tell the truth. Of course, telling the truth can reduce one's own stress but increase someone else's, and you may end up making your own work at the expense of another. I wonder if Radical Honesty fans function in society as enfants terrible, happily leaving destruction and suffering their wake. There is further a difference (to be fair it's one that Blanton himself draws) between honesty and what I might call "vicious venting."

My experience with many years of actually saying what I think is that, even when people are paying me a princely sum in order to ask me what I think, they don't seem to be able to hear it. Some of the most difficult moments I have had in my career have been situations in which I have told clients that they wanted me to take positions that I felt had no merit and that therefore they had to find themselves new counsel. I've probably shocked a few people by handing them their money back, but lawyers are not for sale as much as the general public thinks.

Go ahead. Ask me what I think. But for Heaven's sake, don't argue with me when I answer. I will be honest.

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