The trouble with the truth is we all think we know what that is

The trouble with the truth – an odd statement when you think about it. I mean how could there possibly be anything problematic with regards to a word that has come to mean “a statement or belief which corresponds to reality”. I mean after all, reality is in fact what we deal with from the time we wake up until the time we close our eyes at night. One would assume that the alternative might be more deserving of an entire editorial piece. But I can’t lie, the truth isn’t always the easier of the two to swallow.

From employers to government officials. From family members to friends. From our children to our spouses. The trouble with the truth is no one has the courage to face it.

We live in a world that hides from anything factual – anything statistical that might possibly cause us to have to deal with the realities life has to offer. Every day we make conscious decisions, constant choices very well knowing the facts that exist and how they could influence the outcome. And yet it hasn’t slowed down our aversion to truth as if it were the plague.

We’ve all experienced this. You’re reading an article only to find yourself feeling as though your very existence is being scrutinized. Somehow the writer has managed to capture details of your life and now is writing about them for all the world to see. Your first reaction is to become defensive – justifying to the world why your behavior is not only acceptable but unworthy of attack. Believe me I’m just as guilty as anyone else. But this defensiveness doesn’t do anything to solve the problems at hand and we so often fail to realize that the cause of this defensiveness is simply an affirmation of the truth.

The world is filled with those who would rather waste their time defending their actions, than correcting them. Now I’m not saying this world is comprised of liars, but no matter your age or social status, we are a society that doesn’t like to admit when we’re wrong. There’s an old adage that goes “oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive”. And once your web has been spun, it’s not that easy to find your way out.

Children are taught to be honorable and truthful as they go through life. Books and cartoons have been developed to further instill this message in their young impressionable minds. Why then do the same rules not apply to the adult world? Why does it seem that we wander around in a constant state of denial, defending our actions no matter how imperfect they really are? Life is a short ride for some. Instead of dismissing the truth, embrace it and learn from it.

When you think about it, it’s unfortunate that so many people walk around this planet convincing themselves that the reality they live is factual and quantifiable. They spend their time and their energy playing “public relations manager” to themselves, so much so that they miss out on love and life and getting to know the one person they should know better than anyone – themselves. Fred Rogers once wrote, “Honesty is often very hard. The truth is often painful. But the freedom it can bring is worth the trying.”