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Don't tell me what I want to hear

I'm sure we all know of the television show "American Idol," where contestants compete for a record contract. I must admit I never got into it very much, but I have seen a few episodes.
I saw people who were just hands-down amazing singers whom I could only wish I could sing like. Some people were just so so, not good enough to get their ticket punched to go to Hollywood but pleasing to listen to on karaoke night.
Then you have those people who couldn't find their way out of a wet paper bag. It would make you think, “What were they thinking, being on television making a fool out of themselves?" Yet we would hear the same thing every time. “All of my family and friends keep on telling me what a great voice I have."
So what happened here? Either they really do have the ability to sing really well and choked under the pressure, or their family lied to them. I will give some of them the benefit of the doubt and say the pressure was just too much for them, but for others their families and friends didn't want to hurt their feelings, so they most likely were lied to.
Their families probably didn't know at the time they would one day go on national television and make a fool out of themselves. What was a little white lie got turned into an embarrassing moment the whole country laughed at all because someone told them what they wanted to hear, not what they needed to hear.
I understand the need to encourage people. I write about it often. We should encourage each other to reach for our best. The truth also hurts a lot, especially if the person is so gung ho on doing something.
What will a little white lie hurt? It's not like they are going to pursue it with all they have, right?
In most cases, no, they won't pursue it, and the lie won't be uncovered. However, there are some people that will take it way too far and try to make something out of themselves. Those who take it too far will either end up heartbroken in the end or will live in a delirious state all of their lives.
When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a famous singer myself. I would pretend to put on concerts, play the grand opera and have albums that would hit number one on the charts. I told my mother that when I grow up, I will be a big-time singer. Mom just chocked it up to me just being a kid.
One day I went up to the music director at our little Presbyterian church and asked her if I could sing the national anthem one Sunday. She said, “Sure, it won't hurt anything."
I felt great. I couldn't wait to tell my mom. When I told her, she said I didn't understand and that she didn't think it was a very good idea to begin with. After talking to her some more, she told me because of my cerebral palsy I wasn't able to sing well. I had to tell the music director my mom said no. She smiled and said that was OK. My mom was right. I can't sing, but she also encouraged me to find what I was good at.
The biggest mistake we can make is to lead people on by telling them how awesome they are at something when in reality they are really bad at it. We are setting them up for failure by not telling them the truth.
It doesn't have to be something big like being a fantastic singer. It can just be telling a loved one that nothing is ever their fault. This will make the person believe every bad thing in their life is due to something outside of their control, and they will never take responsibility for the issues in their life.
Who wants to be around a person like that? Whenever something goes wrong, it's always our fault because it is absolutely not theirs. No thanks.
It is very hard to tell people the truth without upsetting them. However, if we truly love someone, we will have to tell the truth so they will not get hurt. We should be gentle when we tell them the truth: let them know how much we think of them, let them know we believe in them and then tell them the truth, no matter how hard it must be to hear.
Our tone of voice is so important. If we do it in a loving, caring tone, we will get better results than if we yell or seem annoyed. If we do it in a loving way, it will most likely be taken better by whoever is hearing it. We need to give people true encouragement, not false encouragement.

Published: September 4, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170839982