Why Truth Matters
Have you ever thought about what life would be like if nobody ever told the truth about anything? I have, and the thought of it chills me.
We all have personal sets of values that are based mostly on truth. If you take truth away, you lose the foundation for your beliefs. How can you believe anything if you don’t know it to be true or if it is not seen as such by society?
If people lie all the time can you trust them? How can you know if what they are saying is credible?
This has always been an important issue because people base their decisions on what they see, read or are told. If those things can’t be trusted, then any decisions that are made cannot be trusted either.
Living in a world without knowing you can trust the word of others would be a horrible thing because it would leave every human being empty of ways to navigate themselves along life’s path.
Playing With Truth
It is unfortunate that many in today’s world have chosen to use or manipulate truth in order to serve their own purposes.
They either do not realize or do not care that when they do this, they damage others. Sometimes the damage is permanent and leads to even more problems.
However, they don’t seem to understand that playing with truth is not the right way to get ahead in life. Yes, it may bring them more money or more power, but each time they use this tool to advance themselves, they also deplete themselves.
How do they do this? Lying and manipulating eat at the marrow of one’s character. If people do it enough, they come to depend on it. When this happens, they eventually lose what is good in them and become unable to determine truth.
Truth is not a game. It is not something you win at. To do well with it, you have to believe in and use it, even when doing so may be difficult, dangerous or painful. This is because, in the end, truth always wins. It always comes out. You cannot hide it.
Some may get away with living a lying, manipulative life for awhile, but it never lasts. It can take years, but it will always show itself. When it does, the punishments are fast and harsh.
Bernie Madoff is a perfect example. For years he lived “the good life” because of a Ponzi scheme he developed that stole millions of dollars from the people who believed in him.
He lived in a luxurious home, ate in fine restaurants, drove expensive cars and traveled as he pleased. However, once the truth finally came out, he lost everything. He was viewed as a monster by many because he ruined so many lives.
More importantly, his greed and self serving ways ate his life away. He lost his values, his morals, his self respect and the respect of most people who knew him.
His story is not unique. Many people sell their souls for wealth and fame. If you follow them, you see that eventually it all disappears.
The guilt these people feel eventually leads them to all sorts of depravity, so if the guilt doesn’t get them, the other things do.
We All Have a Choice
The good news is that people always have a choice.
They can fight and push and manipulate and cheat their way to success, or they can work hard, treat people with decency and earn it.
Nobody has to be a Bernie Madoff to do well in life.
Success is not just about money. It’s about finding contentment, liking what you do, being able to help others, improving yourself and maintaining the type of reputation that says “he’s an honest man”; “he’s someone I can trust”.
If you achieve that in life, you are richer than any Bernie Madoff ever could be.
The fly in the ointment is always going to be temptation, and temptation is everywhere.
If I hand you $100,000 in unmarked bills and ask you to hide it for me if I give you ten percent of it, would you do it?
Why not? It would be easy money. Nobody would know that you have it except the two of us. Besides, you could use the extra cash, right?
You might want to justify holding the money because we’re friends, and you should do this favor for me, but when you do, you are manipulating yourself. The truth is that if I was your friend, I would never ask you to put yourself at risk by giving you this choice. It’s too tempting, and there obviously is something dishonest involved in it.
If you agree, you are giving into temptation. If not, you know this is the wrong thing to do, and you protect yourself by refusing the offer.
Temptation is like that. It always backs us into a corner that forces us to make an important decision.
Are we going to support honesty and truth, or not?
When your friend gets arrested for robbing a bank, are you going to tell the police that he asked you to hide this money or not?
These are important questions. Only you can decide how to answer them. Just remember that when you do, the truth will matter in more ways than one.
We Live In a Lying World
In the above example, most people would hide the money and take the profit. This type of response is typical of the behavior we are seeing in today’s world.
Most would see no harm in doing this, but the harm is grave and is seen in both big and small choices that people make every day. They need to remember that with each choice that thrusts truth and honesty aside comes another bite out of one’s value set. If there are enough of them, truth won’t matter any more because there will be no truth!
Do you think people lie too much?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Sondra Rochelle