We live in a society that does not value honesty.
We say do. We have phrases like "speaking truth to power" and that any individual has the right to present whatever they will. Perhaps they are being honest, but this is not honesty.
Why? Because to be truly honest (and I wonder if we can only ever be honest on a one-to-one basis, one person at a time) means not only to be able to give truth, but to accept it as well.
Truth is freeing - not in the self validating "it's off my chest" way but in the clarity in brings to self and to relationships. If I can be honest - totally honest - and feel that my honesty does not immediately engender rejection or laughter, if I can be heard in the way that I meant to be heard (even if it takes me 20 minutes to say it)- if I can do all that and you will do the same to me, everything changes. I have nothing, nothing to hide from you - not because we agree on everything, but because I can be my unadulterated self.
It builds a different kind of relationship - not one based on perceptions or manipulations or my trying to make you see my point of view or wondering what you think, but rather based individuals truly being who they are and relating that way.
Honesty, when done in this way, maybe no less painful or hard - but the clarity and relief it brings are beyond compare.