Learning from John Green

imagesI recently finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (incredible book about love; if you haven’t read it, you should). In Chapter 17, there’s a line that made me stop and think about “life” – the big one – and my own life specifically. (The sign of great art if you ask me – it makes you think. Like I said, read the book.)

The line as repeated by Will Grayson is this: “…if you don’t say the honest thing, it never becomes true”. I thought about this for a while, and decided I believed a variation of this thought. ‘Cause I think sometimes the honest thing can be true even if you don’t say the honest thing out loud (as Jane suggests, in the book). If you get lucky. But it does help to take that jump and say the honest thing. Then it is more likely to become true.

And if you don’t say the honest thing, you put that honest thing at risk, because the other person doesn’t hear you say it. Or if the honest thing is only about you, maybe you don’t quite believe it. Either way, this creates a vacuum, called doubt.

So tomorrow I’m going to say the honest thing to someone. I’ve been resisting for the same reason anyone avoids saying the honest thing: because we’re afraid of screwing things up, or getting a response we don’t want. Maybe right away, maybe later. But I’m going to do it anyway. Wish me luck.

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About S.M. Stevens

Author of "Bit Players" series of novels for teen and young adult theatre-lovers, and the Bit Players blog.
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2 Responses to Learning from John Green

  1. Alison D. says:

    I’ve been meaning to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson … that is a pretty fantastic quotation. I think both Levithan and Green are good at coining inspiring phrases.

    • S.M. Stevens says:

      Definitely – gives the rest of us something to aspire to. Even though it seems most John Green books don’t reach the level of inspiration that runs throughout TFIOS – and how could anyone repeat that over and over, he always manages to get in a few inspiring phrases. Thanks for writing.

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