I have been accused by many of being too truthful, too honest, and very critical of those who exaggerate, embellish, and stretch the truth in search of approval or attention. To many, being truthful can be seen as abrasive, others call it having integrity…I have had many discussions about being in the ‘realm of accuracy’ when sharing stories, facts, or information, and I still couldn’t find a way to make it acceptable.
About a year ago, I saw the CEO of 7 Virtues company, Barbara Stegman, speak to crowd of a thousand about her 7 virtues – wonder, moderation, truth, courage, justice, wisdom & beauty.
One of the key messages I took away from her speech was to use your truth for good, and it got me thinking about how I use the truth…in fact, I had never thought about ‘using’ the truth at all – it either was or was not, and there was no room for interpretation.
What I neglected to do, however, was to take into account that everyone has their own truths, what they know in their hearts, what they were born knowing, what they were taught by their role models, what their experiences have reinforced and proven to be true to them! That is a huge oversight for someone who is entrenched in the belief that everyone should be truthful…truthful to whom? to me? to themselves? to universal truths of right and wrong? Clearly, I needed to take a new approach.
SO – I am starting a campaign to have the word THE banned from appearing before the word TRUTH. I mean seriously, how can anyone possibly use that in a sentence truthfully?
Some common truths:
The sky is blue
The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West
The Earth is Round
The Theory of Relativity
Would you say these common truths are true for everyone, in every time?
Not everyone believes in God, so the bible is not ‘the truth’ for all – it is a truth for all good Catholics; As for the colour of the sky, blind people cannot see the sky, so although they are told the sky is blue, when they look up, that is not their truth, and how do you know what the colour blue looks like to the person standing next to you anyways?; and as for the sun, we all know that it doesn’t rise or set, or move at all, but the earth rotates around it.
Wasn’t the earth flat a few hundred years ago? Isn’t Einstein’s theory being called into question as I write? Or perhaps it has already been proven wrong…my point is what is true now, may not be true to everyone, nor true 10, 50, or a 100 years from now!
So, I would ask that you think of something that you know is true and and ask yourself ‘Is this true for everyone’ – because as far as I am concerned, that is the only way you can put ‘the’ in front of ‘truth’
Is it true for everyone? And if it’s not, it can still certainly be ‘a’ truth, or ‘your’ truth, but not ‘the’ truth!