Thursday, September 23, 2010

To Tell The Truth

Are you an honest person?  Chances are, if you were raised like I was you were taught to always tell the truth at a very young age.  Most likely you have gone through your life believing yourself to be mostly honest and truthful.

I was thinking about that other day.  Are we really as good as we think we are?  At some point after learning that all important initial lesson we also learn that we should sometimes not tell the truth in order to spare someones feelings.

I remember quite a few years back thinking for some inexplicable reason it was a good idea to buy a pair of orange shadow stripe pants.  My friend who was shopping with me that day assured me they looked good.  In retrospect I wish she would have just said they made my backside look like a pumpkin and asked me why on earth I was even considering buying them.  But being a good friend, she chose to spare my feelings by telling a lie.

Good friends and fashion disasters aside...I think it's hard to always tell the truth.  In fact I think sometimes we aren't even sure what the truth is.  It can be quite subjective.

If I tell you green beans are evil and disgusting that is my truth.  R on the other hand would tell you they are quite delicious, and that's his truth.  But the real truth is that green beans are neither, they are simply inert, and we put our own spin on them based on our preferences.

Quite often we believe things that we have learned other places, the internet, books...TV...or the newspaper and we pass that along only to discover that what we believed was the truth isn't at all.  If we do that, have we told a lie?  For a very long time people believed the world was flat and passed that information on, but it was a lie.  So if you believe you are telling the truth...then are you even if it turns out not to be true.

Then of course there are the lies we tell ourselves.  If we lie to ourselves is that considered a real lie?  Quite often we don't even realize we do it.

If you are wondering what prompted all this pondering, it isn't a guilt complex.  While I was visiting my parents we had a Bible study and I was confused about a section.  While I have been trying to read it from beginning to end this year, I don't usually do Bible study at home, even though I probably should.  We discussed it and I worked out in my head what I thought it meant.  I was pretty satisfied I had come to the truth of the matter.  But then my Mom suggested an alternative explanation.  She was certain she was right.  So I was left wondering what the truth was.  I finally determined that we were both right.  When it comes to the important matters of life I don't think there is always one singular truth.  I think that we each have to find our own truth, and that's based on how it applies to our lives.  That truth can change from moment to moment too.  Those big truths are open to interpretation for each of us.

But I can assure you of one absolute truth in this one...and I mean NO ONE, should ever buy orange shadow stripe pants!


Heather said...

I certainly don't always tell the truth...

Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not.

I enjoy pretending I don't know a thing, and telling people a mistruth when, in the end, it's concealing some sort of surprise or gift for them.

And I know for sure that I don't know everything, and often think one thing is right, just to find out it's not... and then feel stupid because I've already told someone else what I had heard was right... as if it were the truth.

I'm not sure that last one makes me a liar... but the first one does... but that hasn't bothered anyone yet :)

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

Great posting. Truth is a like holding jello in your hands...sometimes yes, sometimes no. I love thought provoking postings and by the beans are evil...I have proof. The Olde Bagg

Amanda said...

I and a friend both work for the UK's largest slimming club (not Weight Watchers) She lost 9 stone, 126lbs but recently had a baby and put weight on. People kept saying she looked great.....I asked how much she needed to lose, 14lbs....I gently said you do look fat because you are, I'll help you if you want help. She weighed herself and she is 56lbs over her healthy weight. Shes now a member of my club group, feeling better and losing her unhealthy weight.

For once honesty paid!

KellyJo said...

You did mention the Bible in you post in regards to "truth". I've done some studying of the Bible. What I've found for myself is that as someone who believes in the Bible also believes it is the word of God. A message or letter to mankind.

A message that has the information we need. As our creator, God knows us, and thus really does
know what's best for us. Like a human parent who might leave a message full of helps and guides for their children, our loving Father in Heaven has done this for us.

Or, you could think of it this way, you have a vehicle and the vehicle is having some mechanical problems. So you go to the owners manual. Now, the manual gives you very specific "truths" on how to fix the problem. How well would the repair go if the owner of the car read the
manuals repair instructions, but then said "oh, I'll just do what I think is best" :/
(or perhaps didn't even look at the manual and figured he could do it on his own)

Interestingly, I found this comment recently, " Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu ‘father’ of the nation of India, once stated to Lord Irwin, former viceroy of India: “When your country and mine shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems, not only of our countries but those of the whole world"

This is where I find the truth for my life.
(just my 2 cents ;)

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