I was inspired to write about truth today by the post I reblogged this morning. You can read it HERE.
In this blog post, one line stuck out to me:
The thing we have to remember about truth is that we will never have all of it.
We will never have ALL of it. I suppose this is right in all facets of our lives, isn’t it? Take a look around you, beginning with yourself. Are YOU 100% truthful? I would like to say that I am, however in some cases I guess you could say I am a liar by omission. If I am asked, I will tell someone the truth, and if I am speaking, you can bet I am telling the truth. If you ask me about me, or something personal, and I don’t trust you, you may receive lies by omission. I am a straight-forward person who does not like to pull punches, and I like dealing with people like that in my life. I think someone who is blunt and honest is more trustworthy to me. Some may think that people like this are crass and difficult to take. The truth IS difficult to take, right? But even with these direct people, are they telling the truth 100% of the time?
We all know that we cannot trust the media 100% of the time. Politicians, news casters, celebrities, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, etc. – they all cannot be trusted all of the time. We spend a lot of energy teaching our children to grow up being honest people, but then turn around and tell them that those that they look up to are not trustworthy themselves. It is a difficult paradigm.
If you are a lover and user of social media, you are very familiar with the lies and truths that are told on the internet. Let me paint a picture for you:
You are scrolling Facebook one Sunday morning, sipping your coffee, laughing at posts from the night before, when all of a sudden you glance at a meme about a social issue you feel very strongly about. You read it, and it is very much against your beliefs, and wonder who in the world would post such a thing? You glance at whom this ridiculous post belongs to, and see that it is your best friend/brother/sister/father/mother.co-worker (insert other relation here). You sit, dumbfounded, at what you are looking at. Does he/she REALLY feel this way? Well, he/she must if they posted it like that, right? You shake your head and continue scrolling, with that post in the forefront of your mind.
It seems as though the internet, the biggest mask a person can wear, seems to give permission to people to be both their authentic selves, and people they wish to be as well. What did you do when you realized that your (insert relation) was a racist/conservative/liberal/welfare recipient/pro-choice/pro-life (insert social label here)? There is really not much you could do, is there? Sometimes settling in with the truth about someone who is close to you is a challenge. I have encountered this with a few people who I thought were so close and shared the same ideals as I did, only to find we were polar opposites. In some cases, our relationship could not recover from these differences. Was the truth a good thing to know in these cases? In a couple, yes; in others, I still mourn the loss of those relationships.
Why is the keyboard and the internet such powerful things? Why do those wearing disguises of who they really are, feel like they can unveil their personal truths online as opposed to living their truths loud and proud and being their authentic selves? If those ideals are truly a part of them, why is it so difficult? The internet is the largest audience one will ever have, and those words/memes/jokes cannot be taken back. Why is it so easy then?
Truth is unreliable sometimes because of personal perceptions. As the quote above states, no one is lying, it is ones understanding of the situation that drives their personal truths. Remember a recent argument you had and how you recounted it to someone. Your story is driven by your perceptions of the truth of the situation. Did you hear the other person’s side of the same story? They hold a very different account of what happened, didn’t they? Hanging in the middle is the truth – a little bit of your story and a little but of their’s. Too many times people get hung up on the details as they see them in a situation and they lack the vision to see the big picture. That is what makes us individuals, right? Our own ideals and views? But it is when one becomes rigid and unbending in their ideals that conflict arises. As long as we all remember that there is truth in it all, not every disagreement will be a big deal.
When I read that blog post and I read (and re-read) the line about not having the truth 100% of the time, I found it a difficult thing to read. I will be forty years old soon, and the concept of deception and untruths still baffles me. I believe the world would be a lot better if people were kind and truthful all the time. But even as those works trail off my fingertips, I know that can be a destructive thing as well. Truth, all of the time? That could cause more fights, widespread panic across the world, riots and, less dramatic – hurt feelings.
Truth vs. lies. Good vs. evil. What is your take on that concept? Are you your authentic self off-line?