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Inaccuracy of TRUTH (04/09/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns

"Honesty establishes a harmony between our beliefs and our actions - between heart and soul." - Sigmund Freud

"The truth will come out in the end," is an ancient maxim used often by parents addressing deceitful children. My folks used to caution, "If you always tell the truth you won't have any trouble remembering what you said."

Two former presidents will always be associated with questionable, finger-pointing denials of wrongdoings, spewing their lame defenses on public television. Nixon's "I am honest!" and Bill Clinton's "I did not...," may go down in history under "who are they trying to kid!" (Even the man in the moon winked!)

Abe Lincoln spoke of being upfront with American citizens way back in 1865, professing, "I have faith in the people...the danger is in their being misled. Let them know the truth and the country is safe."

Is truth always as plain as the nose on your face? (The Pinocchio syndrome tells the tale.) The dictionary seems so explicit: "truth is accordance with knowledge, fact, reality, gospel/the real state of affairs." (In part, determination of truth depends on one's capacity for discernment.)

Then of course, there are different types of TRUTH. First, let me say, my ramblings won't always ring true to each reader. Truth is not always friendly or pretty. By saying nothing at all under certain circumstances can be tactful, if not an act of kindness.

Mark Twain expressed his take on a popular adage. "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, truth isn't." Today fiction is considered boring if it doesn't venture beyond the boundaries of possibility. (Is yesterday's truth vulnerable to renovation?)

Naked truth is what remains when you've been completely honest with yourself and others. In matters of the heart, truth must depend upon a person's perception and logic, which is often lost in emotion and disillusionment. "Follow your heart!" (It doesn't hurt to bring some common sense along.)

Blind faith is heavy, an acceptance of truths which can't be proven. The gospel truth can be discovered by those free to seek understanding. Belief in Biblical truth takes faith and insight in order to achieve great heights of wisdom.

In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, "If you follow my word, then you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (How can one ponder TRUTH without addressing the divine?)

In daily discourse and business dealings it is wise to be cautious. "Trust everyone, but cut the cards." President Ronald Reagan used that maxim, along with "Trust but verify," during his meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988.

Mohandas K. Gandhi wrote, "It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business. What is true, is that honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune." (Everyone has a right to his or her opinion.)

Wisdom is organized life. Science is organized knowledge. Scientific truth begs intellectual thinking, proof, precision, and accuracy. (You couldn't prove it by me.)

An "axiom" is "a statement universally recognized as true." Albert Einstein, one of history's most esteemed thinkers, mused, "Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience."

Truth is in the eyes of the beholder. It's true, surveys are not always honest. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Truth can rise up and punch you in the kisser. Beauty is truth, truth beauty. Seeing is believing!

Truth is freedom. In all things, be true to yourself. Those words of wisdom may be TRUTH in a nutshell, or in a computer program, which seems to be where most every communicable piece of information is stored nowadays.

Liars and gossips sacrifice the trust of their fellowman, the greatest loss. He who hollers "Wolf! Wolf!" is soon skunked. (But don't take my word for it!) 


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