There was an interesting obituary in the Globe and Mail this weekend. Written by Elizabeth Renzetti she bemoaned the death of Truth.
“While no cause of death has yet been announced, Truth is believed to have died of neglect.” She goes on to write that “Truth leaves its former partner Beauty, and two children, from whom it was estranged, Whatever and LOL.”
It was a poignant and clever piece, and speaks to the current culture in which we live. Years ago you would never have thought of news being fake. We trusted that what was in the newspaper or on television was fact. And yet now, all we hear, especially from south of the border, is that it’s a conspiracy or it’s fake news. Nothing is now how it appears, and there are layers to the truth.
While some people hear what they want to hear, others have learned to question the information provided. Take the recent murder of Jamal Khashoggi. So many differing and conflicting explanations were brought up to explain his death, and at every turn a new story would unfold. No wonder we question the honesty of what we are hearing on this terrible case. No wonder we don’t believe it. It’s all a cover-up.
When I reflect on the titles of the books I’ve read recently (I like mysteries), many included the word “lies.” I was so convinced that this was a trend that I did a search on Amazon – over 20,000 books have the word “lie or lies” in the title.
If everything we are reading normalizes lying; makes it seem OK, it is little wonder that truth is considered an old-fashioned concept that has outlived its “best-by” date.
So how do we make telling the truth – being honest in our dealings and relationships with each other – fashionable again? How do we raise our children to see the difference between right and wrong, when all around them, people are stretching the truth to suit themselves? When corporations go to great lengths to trick people into buying something they don’t need or want, all to enhance their bottom line.
It can seem overwhelming, but I guess we have to start with ourselves. We start by leading a more honest existence in which we don’t dodge the bullet, but actually speak up and tell the truth. We begin by holding people accountable for their actions.
To me truth and trust go hand in hand. We build trust with one another when we are honest and show mutual respect. Yes, sometimes truth hurts, but telling lies is far more damaging. I worry that as a society we are heading down a dangerous path, where our values and what we stand for will get lost, forgotten and to continue the death analogy, buried.
Let’s make truth the core to what we do and say. Let’s resuscitate Truth.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.