Truth is the highest thing that man may keep. – GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales
Truth is generally the best vindication against slander. Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, July 18, 1864
A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Lenin (1870 – 1924)
Ask someone what “truth” is, and you’ll get a few different opinions. Truth is defined in a few ways:
1 a archaic : fidelity, constancy
b : sincerity in action, character, and utterance
2 a (1) : the state of being the case : fact
(2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality
(3) often capitalized :
a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics>
c : the body of true statements and propositions
3 a : the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality
b chiefly British : : fidelity to an original or to a standard
Truth is something that is, and is without question, and will not change. Truth is something you hold to, and if you don’t, it doesn’t change that it is what it is.
Untruths are known as falsehoods, “white lies”, fibs, fabrications, and a long list of other descriptions. “Truth” tends to be bent by changing the words that one says to express what they want to say into something that someone wants to hear. When someone hears a truth that they don’t want to hear, they usually say something like “Well, I didn’t know that is what you ‘meant’.” Whether or not you want to hold to the truth, or hear the truth, it doesn’t change that a truth is a truth.
Many times, when someone is not truthful, he/she is only being dishonest with oneself. But, avoiding truth can hurt others, too. I’m just as guilty as anyone else for “choosing” words wisely. The truth hurts when it is too blunt or told in a manner that is not tactful. Sometimes, softening the words, or choosing words that convey the message but isn’t “rude” is a good thing. But, to say something that isn’t so is an untruth.
There are many “kinds” of truths. There are universal truths like “Gravity”. There are truths that are relative, like morality. Some moral issues are more truthful in some cultures than others. Lynching is a definite immoral truth in our country. But, in other countries, it’s a moral truth. Certain truths are different from culture to culture. Beauty to one person is different than it is to another person, but neither is untrue.
The big thing, for me, is that truths spoken should be from the heart, the soul, and the mind of an individual. While Honor is all that a man may have left after losing everything else, Truth shall exist long after a man is dead. When speaking to someone, be truthful. Don’t find clever ways to lie. I tried this many times as a kid. Anyone with children will know that they will find ways to be untruthful, and for many reasons. I remember once, in high school, I received my report card. I failed a class, so I took a pencil and changed the printout to make it a C (60 became an 80with a light mark). My final report card brought the truth to light, especially since I couldn’t get to it before my parents. That wasn’t a good scene. It took me quite a few years to regain full trust from them, and longer to let it sink in that Truth is very important.
The Truth will always come through, and if it is found that you have denied the Truth, your Honor will be tarnished.