Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hard truths

I’m writing this because the time has come to make some hard choices. I know the readers of this blog expect me to level with them, and the time has come to stop ducking the choices and instead spell out what we need to do. It is not enough, after all, to just keep talking about it. We’ve been doing that for a long time—and I’ve done as much talking as anybody. The time for talk is gone. It’s time to make it clear what we need to do.

So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to stop talking and start making some tough choices. I’m going to be very clear about this, because making tough choices isn’t easy, and spelling them out is even harder. It’s much easier to just avoid them, and that’s what we must not do at all costs. We can’t avoid the hard choices. We have to make them, and make them clearly.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. You live with the results of choices every day. Those choices have been made for you or by you or despite you, but they have unquestionably been made. That is hard. It is much easier to duck making choices and to talk about them instead, until people begin to believe you’ve actually done something, or have a plan to do something, or know what you’re talking about. So I’m here to tell you that I’m not going to duck any of those choices. I know you expect me to level with you about this, so here’s the truth: Hard choices need to be made. Hard truths need to be heard. That’s the truth. It’s hard. But it’s also true. That’s the thing about truth. How hard is that?

You all know people who don’t level with you. I know you do. When things are going well, that might be OK, but things are not going well, so you need people to level with you. You need them to stop talking and tell you the truth. That’s the truth. Then you need them to make choices. Hard choices. You need them not to duck those choices, but to make them, even though they’re hard.

That’s what you can count on me for. I’ll never duck those choices, and you’ll always know I’m not ducking them because I’ll tell you about them. Just like I’m doing now.

Trust me.


  1. Well, of all the essays you've ever written, this is certainly one of them.

  2. That's just what we need to hear, Joel. Just what we need to hear.