Recently, there have been a number of deaths of celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, etc. In each of these cases, it seems like these people were exploited for their money. They were never told no if they wanted something because people were afraid that they would be cut out of the financial benefits of being associated with these people. Especially in Houston and Jackson’s cases, these were superstars, some of the most successful people in their chosen profession. But this applies to people’s everyday lives, too. How often have you wanted to be honest with someone but you were afraid that they would be mad at you? I’ve noticed that this is especially true with the male/female dynamic. It is very hard to get a man to tell the truth to a woman, even if the issue is small, because men realize that women have the power in relationships. Think about it: if men said half the things to women that women say to men, there would be immediate war. But that is no reason why men should not be honest. If someone is doing something that you sincerely think they are going to regret, big or small, you should care enough about that person to tell them the truth. If that hurts the relationship temporarily, then that is the other person’s decision. They will hopefully realize that if you like them enough to be honest, that is a relationship worth keeping. Someone yesterday told me that he thought something I was doing disappointed him. I wish he had told me at the time, because I would have improved in that area. But since he never told me, I wasn’t aware that what I was doing was disappointing him so he did not allow me the opportunity to change for the better. Most of us will never be famous, especially to the degree that people like Houston and Jackson are, but we still have some of the same problems. The Bible says that we are our brother’s keeper. We have a responsibility to help our fellow human beings. It could be a big problem or a small one, but if we are not honest with the people we associate with everyday, then who are we going to be honest with? The same issue exists for politicians to a degree. They lie to constituents and voters, because they do not want their own career to suffer. But what the country needs, what the world needs, is for people in small and large situations, to tell the truth about the negative things that are happening in their friends’ lives. Otherwise, how are people going to learn? In the case of famous people, who are used to always getting what they want, it can be hard to convince them to go on the right path in life. So telling the truth is only one part of the equation. The other part is allowing others to tell you the truth without making them feel badly about it. Create an environment where people feel comfortable being honest with you, and you (and I) will have a much more satisfying, fulfilling and progression-filled life.