This I Believe

Bronagh - San Francisco, California
Entered on September 21, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: integrity

I believe in truth.

It sounds so easy to believe in, but it isn’t really. You hear half-truths and untruths all the time. From your family, friends, co-workers, elected officials and government, everyone is doing the dance. “Sure, you look great, don’t worry about that extra 40 pounds.” “Of course the soldiers will be home, we know what we are doing over there.” “That never happened in our family, I don’t know where you heard that.”

I am sure this sounds familiar to everyone. We have all heard it. Truth is elusive in every day life. Most folks fudge the truth so they don’t hurt other people’s feelings. Some do it so they can cover up for their own mistakes. And yet others do it to advance their own agenda. How do you know what to believe? Do we know what truth is? Truth is defined in the dictionary as “the state of being the case.”

People are persecuted every day around the world for speaking or writing the truth. Others are intimidated or silenced. Even in this country there are people afraid to speak the truth about the current political agenda. Where I was born, people who believed in the truth were severely punished. The logical conclusion is that fear inhibits the telling of the truth.

But what of those who assert the Holocaust never happened? Maybe people are afraid of what that says about them. That still doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Has it always been this way? Is it human nature? Can we really believe enough in the truth to use it as a tool to make the world a better place? I believe we can. If every person on this planet made an effort, starting right now, to be truthful to their husband, employee, government and children, people would be less afraid. Not telling the truth breeds fear and insecurity. Imagine if you always knew were you stood? If you felt as if you knew what was going on in the world? If you were a player and not a pawn?

People tell me I can be too direct, that I am sometimes too truthful and straightforward with people, That this approach is not always the best way since some folks prefer to be coddled or handled. I have a good job, am happily married, a great family, a wonderful social life and many friends I love. People in my world count on me to tell them the truth and not be afraid of it. It may be that I am too direct and need to soften my delivery, but I don’t want to change the message. And that message is the truth.

Everyone should make an effort to be truthful. Whether it is in life, at work, in your community or for your country, it makes a difference. People who embrace the truth are empowered, empowered to make their own decisions and take their own risks. Even if it means it might hurt.

This I believe.