“Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks
before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth,
follow only beauty, and obey only love.”
When I was a child, I was taught never to lie even with small things. If you did, you would have to tell a bigger lie to cover that up. Eventually, you would wind up so far from the truth, you might not find your way back. That was when someone’s word was as good as gold and those who didn’t keep their word were disadvantaged in business and social circles…it was a thing everyone knew and those individuals weren’t trusted.
The world is very different today in some respects with video cameras all over the place, people can get caught saying one thing and then quite the opposite moments later. Our words have lost their value especially in the realms of telling the truth. Does the soul grow numb after a while when it is hidden in lies…coated like a scally covering which no longer can feel? I like to think that most people tell the truth or want to tell the truth, but maybe they are only telling what they want to believe. I wanted to serve in public office my whole life but could never grow comfortable with the idea that to succeed in that world, I would have to make compromises with my values. I guess I have to thank my lucky stars that things happened the way they did and I can still look myself in the eye knowing the truth of my being.
Yet those in power need to be held accountable for their words. As my college professor, Dr. McAnaw would say, “You have be able to speak truth to power!” I think that is our charge in this modern-day…to speak the truth and make sure that those who want to represent us do the same. How can we do this? In many ways. By the way you spend your money…are you paying attention to where you invest? where you shop? the organizations you support? Do you really pay attention to how you vote with your money? As I ran, I learned the unfortunate truth that corporations support candidates to get favorable laws passed. These interests very often supersede the people who should be represented.
Why is it in America the land that used to lead in solving problems is so slow to resolving anything? Follow the money and you will find the truth. Benjamin Franklin when asked, what kind of government shall we have responded, “A republic; if you can keep it.” In a republic, the people are the sovereigns and the truth is, we have to start acting like it and pay attention to the actions of those who represent us. Think about what you read. Consider the source. Entertain opposing views if you can if only to learn something different. Get involved in the process and write letters. Lots of letters to the editor, to your representatives, and to your President. Ask questions. Then maybe we will get closer to the truth.