I believe that life should be driven by the truth or the pursuit thereof. People waste their lives in meaningless pursuits of what they believe to be happiness. But there is no truth in any of it. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, there is only emptiness― a bottomless void of darkness filled only by the bleak nothingness of hollow space. The truth will fill that void. In the truth, there is pure contentment. Life without truth is, I believe, no life at all― it is a life without knowledge, without intelligence.
We shelter our young with falsehoods because we want them to know not what he world truly is. We want them to be “safe.” However, safety in lies is a contradiction. Safety comes only in knowing the truth. It is a shelter, a safe haven. It prepares for the life to come and teaches of the life that has passed. The world is only dangerous if you do not know of its truths, if you are ignorant to its ways, as I once was.
I, too, was once an ignorant child as we all were, protected by our parents’ lies. My mother did not want me to know of certain things because she thought that they were too “grown-up” for me at the time. She wanted me to maintain the fantasy world that I lived in. Life is not a fantasy and it should be seen for what it is from the beginning in order for us to be prepared adequately for the world to come. We are pinned down by the lies that we are fed during childhood, and even after that. The truth will set us all free. The truth will open our eyes and let us live our lives, as it did for somebody that I know.
My grandmother once went to the hospital to get a colonostrophy. It is a procedure where the doctors check the colon for cancer. It was simply a precaution, a test designed to catch colon cancer before it was too late. Fortunately, her colon was entirely clear and free from cancer. However, at around the same time, a friend of mine, Jim, underwent the same procedure. His result was not so happy. He had been discovered to have colon cancer. From that point on, he had to undergo continual radiation treatments for his cancer. Everyday life became much more difficult and travel, which he did often, was forced to be all but halted.
Although the truth was painful, it was also liberating and set him free in a way. He was able to catch the cancer in time, which kept him from the dungeon that death is. I believe that knowing the truth is the most important thing in life. Although finding the truth may be hard, its journey and ultimate discovery is necessary. Ignorance and lies may be easier to accept, but they will never allow us as humans to live. The truth hurts, sometimes excruciatingly painfully, but it will set us free. I believe that knowing the truth is power over your life and the world around you. I may not know what the truth to life is today, but I believe that in continually searching for it, I will one day find it, and that even the search itself will lead to a better life. Although, I may never find the truth until I die, for I believe that there is ultimate truth in death.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.