What do you think people value more? Honesty towards others or honesty with themselves?

I was thinking about Survivor recently. It’s weird but in the last tribal council, when the final two are pleading their case before the jury, the jury always really wants to see them being honest. It’s weird because in Survivor, basically you have to lie to progress. There’s no way around it. So if you made the final two, you must have lied to get there. The jury knows it. What they (the jury) want is honesty at the last council, want them to admit that they had to lie and deceive to get where they are.

That makes no sense to me. Everyone knows they had to lie. It’s required to get that far. In fact, in many cases, at the end people actually respect people who lied well, like Richard Hatch or Rob. So why suddenly at the end do they value honesty? How on earth does that make sense? But every single season, the jury looks for that.

What I think it is is this. I don’t think the jury cares that much about the finalists being honest to them, the jury. What they’re really looking for is whether the finalists are honest with themselves. So someone who lied like crazy during the game but at the end is upfront about doing it, they demonstrate that they’re being honest with themselves, that they realize that they were lying. Whereas someone who insists at the end that they played the game with “integrity”, the jury feels like they’re being dishonest with themselves, not owning up to how they actually were. I think that’s what happened this past season.

That’s interesting to me. And maybe I’m reading it wrong, but I think as far as Survivor goes, since people expect and even respect how people deceive others, that contestants value people being honest with themselves more than them being honest with other people.

I wonder how much of that is true in life. I suspect that it’s partly true. We all lie. Partly because we’re sinners. But I dunno, some of it is more subtle. Putting up fronts and layers around ourselves out of social norm or fear. We all do it, and we know we all do it. So I think that sometimes when people say they value honesty, at the heart of it, what they value is people being honest with themselves, even more so than people being honest with other people. That’s my claim.

But who knows.

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