Thursday, November 26, 2015
Random Thoughts Of A Mountain Man - Truth
What is truth? Diogenes spent his life looking for a truthful man. The definition of truth says: The quality or state of being true, That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. A fact or belief that is accepted as true. Who or what do you believe now days as being truthful? The media? Those who have an agenda and are good at spinning a yarn or telling half truths and not the whole truth? I think finding the truth today is much harder than in the past. Social media people can spin a story that makes them look good. It used to be that only lawyers could or would come up with some twisted yarn and try to convince others of its validly but now ordinary people have learned how to tell half truths or no truths and make it sound convincing.
Where does our personal responsibility come in if we are truly seeking the truth? I would say first of all that our responsibility is to tell the truth ourselves. Not as what we perceive is true but what is based on fact or reality. When someone tells us something that doesn't have that ring of truth to it or raises our suspicions we should check it out ourselves. If it involves or is about another person we should contact that person for their version. If there were others present we should seek their version or observations. If it is important enough we should spend the time to check it out. With all the electronic ability we have now days it is easy to verify versions if we but just take the time or make the effort.
It is easy to listen to only one version but what if you listened to the wrong version. You should never repeat what you have heard if you only have one version and it doesn't make sense to you. If you actually consider all facts you just might be inclined to take the other side. If you accepted a friend's version and find out they did not tell you the truth you could lose a friend but just how valuable is that friend if they will lie to you in the first place? Telling a lie or distortion will, when found out, damage the credibility of that friend and will undermine the trust that may have built up over the years.
When you tell the truth you don't have to be concerned with having to remember what version you may have told others. When you don't tell the truth you lose credibility with family, friends or acquaintances. Once credibility is lost people will question everything you say after you have been caught in a lie or distortion.
So how valuable is truth in the scheme of things today? Being a truthful person is a virtue that defines just who and what you are. I believe it is very important and being known as someone who is truthful always reflects favorably on your character. To NOT tell the truth will catch up with you sooner or later and when it does the damage to your character can be devastating. Just being tagged with being less than truthful is embarrassing and can be devastating to your credibility not to mention your own self worth.
I remember when I was a member of the SAC Elite Guard and a fellow guard seemed like an interesting fellow who had led a very interesting life. After a while his stories became more self aggrandizing and more hard to believe. Another guard member did what the rest of us should have done and he checked out his increasingly hard to believe stories. The result was that he was a habitual liar and when discovered he was promptly dishonorably discharged from the service. Our jobs were highly sensitive and we had to be 100% truthful because of the authority and responsibility we were given and if you couldn't tell the truth all the time you were a security liability. We all carried the highest security clearance to the most sensitive areas and we had to be truthful to be relied on. His lies cost him any career opportunities that he may have desired. Being truthful is a way of life that enhances your character and if you are less than truthful your reputation, credibility and character will suffer because of it.
Truth is the bedrock of your character and most other virtues are built on truth. Truth is a virtue that reputations are built upon. I have met those who choose to lie and be deceitful when telling the truth would be the proper choice. They have lost the ability to tell the difference between truth and lying so they automatically revert to what comes easy for them and that is lying. If you value your reputation and character you should hold being truthful as the most important virtue on your list of virtues. Being truthful should be right ahead of integrity. That is this old mountain man's random thoughts and opinion.