Do we tell each other the truth? Is the truth important to share?
Whatever you believe, I know people tell lies, utterances are exaggerated and some folks wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them. There is such a thing as truth, and it is not all subjective. Here’s a personal experience before we move on to elected officials.
I just spent two days on jury duty going through the process of jury selection. We took an oath to tell the truth. We had to be honest with strangers. I believe I heard the truth from these folks. I thought the prospective jurors took their oath seriously. Yes, we were bound by an oath to tell the truth, but do we have to be bound by an oath before we do so?
There it is. Unless forced to do so, many don’t tell the truth. The truth is spun, manipulated, manufactured, fudged, fabricated and made up. Lies are told to gain money, power, prestige, celebrity, control and dominance, not necessarily in that order.
Not everyone is going to agree that some statements are lies. They may think the words are simply exaggerations or a stretching of the truth. OK, so is it acceptable when we say yes to deviations of the truth and accept “small” nuances of it? Are we becoming numb to the difference between a lie and truth? And, if we are aware of lies, no matter how “small” they may be, are we not perpetuating even more duplicity? If statements can be verified, do we not have some responsibility in the lie when we accept it?
Well, you say, the verification is made up and false. The authenticators are the liars. I believe anything is possible but not every fact checker is incorrect 100 percent of the time. Of course, there is an exception. If one believes there is no such thing as truth, then all bets are off.
I believe there is truth and there are ways to prove it. We can argue how to prove the truth endlessly, but instead of arguing and mincing words we need to talk to each other, share the truth and hold one another accountable for acknowledging the difference between life as it is and illusion.
If any candidate or elected official says the Earth is flat and their supporters agree with the statement or say those words were a slip of the tongue, or a joke, or it doesn’t make any difference in the grand scheme of things, don’t we have a responsibility to say the assertion is false? And when more declarations continue to be proven untrue, yet we maintain they are a version of fact, are we not simply fooling ourselves?
That’s the bottom line to me. I don’t want to see us fool ourselves. We can agree or disagree on policies and how to implement them, but we have got to examine words for what they are. Words from candidates and elected officials should be taken seriously. Words have consequences. Somebody pays a price.
We have an obligation to truth, not political partisanship. It is our responsibility to hold politicians, all politicians, accountable for their words and actions.
I think we are confused. As we attempt to speak the truth and share it with one another, we tend to say the first thing that comes to mind, truth be damned. Some may say they are weary of political correctness. But, somewhere along the way, we’ve gotten caught up in speaking our mind and eliminating truth and facts. We’re not always going to utter verifiable statements, but retelling provable lies destroys reality and weakens the fabric of truth.
We owe it to ourselves to seek the truth, speak it and share it. Push politicians to do the same. Don’t let them create a false reality that shuts out and destroys the truth. You are aware of the here and now in which you live and work every day. Don’t isolate yourself. Don’t be afraid to stand up and speak the truth when you hear a lie, no matter who is doing the lying.
Truth might not always come from every word we speak, but if we don’t speak truth today, tomorrow could be too late.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.