I think that one of the most loving gifts we can give to each other is the full, honest truth. I don’t mean the kind of brings-you-to-your-knees tirades that pass for “truth” on reality television. I mean the kind of truth that is spoken with love and honor for both the giver and the recipient.
As I mentioned the other day, I’ve spent the last couple of months working diligently to craft a proposal to work with the spouses of deployed military members. Today I had the great pleasure of meeting with a friend who is both a Marine and a lawyer. I gave him the proposal and asked him to look it over to see if I’d made any glaring “civilian” errors, since I don’t have experience with military formats and jargon.
Kerry was amazing. He started right out by telling me that my biggest job is going to be filling a credibility gap. In someone else’s hands, that statement could have been really difficult to hear, but the way he explained it made perfect sense. He said that I’ve never been part of military life, I’ve never been married, and I’ve never been a parent. That means that I may encounter some preconceived ideas that say, “She has no idea what it’s like to be in the military, so how could she do a program like this?”
I know that’s not true – after all, I’ve never been a breast cancer survivor or an elderly person in a nursing home either – but the point is that I need to meet my audience where they are. And it’s not unreasonable to expect that some people will look at me and think that.
Kerry and I both agree that this is not an insurmountable problem – far from it – and we strategized some ways to overcome it.
But the point is that I’m so deeply grateful to him for being willing to tell me the truth. As they say, forewarned is forearmed (no pun intended, but since it’s there I’ll giggle!) And I’m also grateful to myself for being able to sit and listen to the truth. There was a time not so long ago when I wouldn’t have been able to do that.
Thank you Kerry. Your presence is a blessing and a miracle in my life.