Truth has consequences

September 14, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

They say, “The truth will out!” and “The Truth will set you free!”

There are rumours that insist little white lies can be condoned if they spare a person’s feelings or ease a person’s guilt or boost a person’s lack of confidence – all that. Yet, where do little white lies become real dishonesty or actually illegal, perjury?

Politics to the south of us have massaged reports like crazy, to fully blur the lines between true and false. Of course, that treatment is not new, not by a long shot, not since Pilot demanded of Christ to define whose truths were true, when people could not agree: “Are your truths the same as mine?”

“All history is merely gossip,” said the little quote beside my year book photo at the end of high school. I was impressed the book’s editor had understood me so well and to be honest, I believe that still.

For all our intense recording and repeating of everything that happens on this earth now or our pretence that we understand completely what has ever happened, we know very little and maybe, on some level, we understand less than we know. 

Once, history was recorded on walls as depictions of kings, aggressions and conquests; of who and what lived at the time and many, many details of the lives they led. The subjugation of one lot of humans over others, of slavery and cruelty and love and kindness have all been recorded from thousands of years ago in a myriad of creativity, marvellous artistry and craft.

It is very likely those very ancient representations carry more truth than many publications do today. And online? Ha! How could we any more trust anything we read online? Well, we do faithfully believe in online; we check the sources and with hope accept the truth as writ. 

Are our individual truths the same as the folk who write today’s stories? And what about tomorrow, when the gossip mongers come to re-evaluate and re-write today’s truth?

I love the true history of the universe, which the universe itself re-writes from time to time. Quite recently we were informed, the universe might be twice as large as previously understood! Perhaps, like numbers, there is no end to the universe. Maybe that is why there is no end to numbers.

It must be a kind of hell to be the leader of a club, town, country, although leaders do seem to cling to their thrones; do seem to weather and even treasure their heady stature but, as time moves on, surely their grip on the truth is wobbly at best and it could be that stops mattering along the line. Whichever keeps that crown on the head dictates falsehood or truth, without remorse.

I suspect, much as I would love to say that politicians, a rum crew at best, are more inclined to falsehood now than otherwise, but in my heart, I doubt it. I am pretty sure we have been the same crummy crew as we are now, all this time since people time began. All our little and large failings are historic, back to ages back; back to the beginnings of whatever divisions we evolved into, descended from; our racism, our hate of anyone different from ourselves, whichever selves in the human catalogue we are. All our insane tendency to destroy and repress – crazy, we are fundamentally the craziest species on the planet and to make matters worse, we’re in charge.

Wouldn’t you almost think that ultimate responsibility would shiver our timbers? Make us wise and conscientious of what having control over the well-being of every living thing and ourselves really means?

Somewhere, somehow, only the universe tells the truth because from a deep dark place that shot quickly into our light, came the first lie. There is no knowing how that happened: did Adam tell Eve she looked great even though she was strangely bulging with their first born son, Cain?

Our vices seem to be eternal and it seems too, no matter how many more souls there are, inclined to do right by each other, they are insufficiently numerous to overwhelm the falsehoods, the inclination to destroy – for what?– some imagined benefit to a personal self? 

No destruction cures or benefits. No invention with the slightest chance to defeat another has ever escaped the grasping of an army, whose leader is ready to corrupt its usefulness for the bigger picture of war.

Truth, like love, is not a given. It must be earned or at least sought. Yet, both truth and love are hard to find and keep; the lies are so much easier, softer in their definition; simpler to issue and excuse. 

We walk the streets with our signs; our children fear their futures; we rail against the blatant corruption exposed without real solutions to rid ourselves of this current offence.

Truth languishes as it watches virtue drain and we have to ask: is it too late to rescind and become a species worthy to be in charge of this planet of miracles beyond our understanding?

We live in paradise. We don’t have to seek it out. We just need to repair it and live without wars.

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