<Aug. 19/12.> What’s the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth…about the truth?
To my way of thinking, the saddest, most sobering & utterly galling reality about the truth is how very, very little of it we actually tell.
In courtrooms one is asked – nay, ordered – to tell the truth – & we all know perfectly well how very little of it is told there. Think how well thought-of lawyers – supposed bastions of the so-called “justice” system – are. Ahem. (Never mind their “clients.”) I don’t call it the justice system anymore, I just call it the legal system. Might as well call a spade a spade, hmmm? Speaking of truth…
I do like to think of myself as a truth-teller, & in truth, I probably do do a little more truth-telling than most folks. For sure, I also hold back a little too much sometimes. Life & relationships are such a delicate balancing act, aren’t they? When to spill…when to hold back. What to hold back?
I recall being advised, with other attendees at the Landmark Forum weekend I attended 7 years ago now, that we work to make our relationships more authentic. Of course sometimes this works, & sometimes it doesn’t. (The LMF weekend itself helped me quite a bit, I feel, & I’ve always been glad I took a friend’s advice & gave it a bash. It may not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” but it sure helped me.)
Sometimes when we try to tell too much truth in a relationship, it backfires on us. Been there. One becomes a little gun-shy after one of these unexpected incidents of having things blow right up in one’s face…
So, the truth. What is “the truth?”
The truth is, I can’t tell you “The Truth.” I can only tell you my truth. Even this will vary from day to day. & you know what? I think too many of us listen too much to other people’s truth – & other people’s truth will not necessarily serve us well. I’ve realized recently that I’ve done this entirely too much. Plenty of the nonsense we’re all awash in, in this voraciously destructive culture of ours, doesn’t even nearly resemble Truth with a capital T. That’s the truth! (I’m more & more determined, as life goes on, to listen to, & heed, my own, from here on in.)
One firm truth I can attest to is that I am very seldom able to tell the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth…if I want to maintain the relationships I value the most.
I could write a short (or long) list of all the truths I haven’t been able to tell, & people to whom I have not been able to tell the “whole truth.”
About “small” personal challenges or difficulties.
& about rather outstandingly LARGE ones on the grand, global scale.
Why oh why oh why is it so darn hard to be really authentic??
No easy answers being proferred from this corner.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) apparently once said “If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.”
A couple of men I once knew believed that
- Timing is everything
- It’s all about balance
I think they were both onto something.
To some degree I suspect our species’ inability to “tell the truth” – & to really hear & listen to the truth – has doomed us.
Another truth: no one really wants to hear me say this kind of thing.
More truth: my heart is just about breaking from too much truth.
I have no comforting bromides to offer you, Gentle (or even un-gentle) Reader. (Although it's often been said that the truth will set you free...)
Very very very challenging times here on Planet Earth.
Soberly (but truly),
p.s. cool song about freedom & truth here.
p.p.s. more postings on this blog about truth:
- Telling the Truth: Too Many Elephants in the Room?
- Elephants. Showing Up. Staying out of the Way.
- Telling the Truth: American Soldier & Iraq
- Turning off the Lie Machine
- Truth & Liberty
- Telling the Truth
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “In accumulating property for ourselves or our posterity, in founding a family or a state, or acquiring fame, even, we are mortal; but in dealing with truth we are immortal, and need fear not change or accident.” – Henry David Thoreau
** Many more quotations about truth listed here