A Duty of Honesty

The question sometimes comes up regarding whether a diviner has a professional duty to be brutally honest in making predictions for paying clients, or whether a little leeway should be allowed in the interest of human kindness. I believe there are a couple of different scenarios where this consideration arises.

Obviously, in cases involving sensitive personal matters, nobody wants to be beaten up with the unvarnished truth and there is usually a more compassionate way to deliver bleak news sincerely while not sugar-coating it. The solution usually lies in the realm of “empowerment:” giving the client the information necessary to make a wise decision about how to proceed without dwelling on the sense of foreboding that some cards bring to the picture. We can talk about emerging trends and tendencies of a challenging nature rather than ironclad certainties.

The second scenario entails situational readings that are broadly objective. The consequences are typically more abstract and the client’s interests may be less viscerally urgent. Rather than a single-pointed future event, there could be the potential for a discouraging downturn over an extended period that is the main concern. Where there is little emotional investment at the time of the reading, the client may be served best by an “honesty is the best policy” approach. Rather than framing the consequences of a looming catastrophe, many of these questions are of the “what will happen if” variety. A negative cast to the narrative may be a saving grace if the client is contemplating a particularly risky decision that he or she hasn’t thought through.

In general, I prefer to “call ’em as they lay,” but I’m not immune to the need for a thoughtful and measured delivery that offers viable options for avoiding a crisis rather than conveying either dire portents or false hopes. Neither of those extremes is in the client’s best interests in most situations.

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