Every election cycle is filled with thousands of political ads chocked full of deceit, half-truths, and the kitchen sink. Most of the time I click the mute button on my remote, waiting for the political garbage to disappear. But as bad as they are, they work. I thought it was time to rerun a blog I had written on 3/13/2014. The original blog was in response to all of the political and religious postings that I saw on Facebook. With midterm elections at hand, it seems appropriate to take another look at life’s biggest illusion — truth.
Lies, lies, there are so many lies. As a society, we’ve become very good at spinning tales which are presented as the truth. And the biggest lies of all are broadcast over the airwaves; nonstop, twenty-four hours a day. It’s so bad that each political slant has it’s own network hell-bent on promoting their own political agenda by, you guessed it, lies. At first, it was more subtle; photoshop, cut and paste, and the distorted truth became a lie. Now, the truth is as difficult to find as fireflies on a sunny day.
I’m reminded of the 1881 fairy tale about Pinocchio, the wooden marionette carved by Geppetto, a bachelor who yearned for a real boy of his own. Eventually, through a lot of hoping, praying, and imagination, the good fairy changed Pinocchio into a real boy. But wait, the good fairy would not tolerant lies. She told Pinocchio that if he told a lie his nose would grow. Well, you guessed it, Pinocchio told a string of lies and surprise — Pinocchio’s nose grew so long that he couldn’t get out of his house. (Imagine our House of Representatives with noses so long that they would fill the chamber. And those nose hairs. Yuck.) To save Pinocchio, woodpeckers flew into the house and pecked at his nose until it became the normal size. Moral of the story — don’t lie or your nose will grow.
In the days when I was a boy, parents handed out advice that was designed to keep you from lying or doing “bad” things. If you make a bad face your face will freeze in that position for the rest of your life. Make your eyes go cross and they will remain cross. I heard this one at the church – If you masturbate you will go blind. That one scared the hell out of me. Well, I didn’t go blind but I am a bit near-sighted and have worn glasses since I was five years old. Go figure. My mother’s favorite — Rich people aren’t happy. You’re lucky that we’re poor. Another of her favorites — If you stay out past midnight, you can’t be doing anything good. Well, I’ll have to give her that one. About telling the truth: if you don’t tell the truth something bad will happen to you, and yes, you will go to hell.
Our reality, the truth as we see it, is based on a combination of our genetic makeup and our life experiences; nuture and nature, that’s what they call it. If we follow this line of thought, each person will have a unique opinion of the truth. Some people might say that the Bible holds the truth. Well, that might be true, but as soon as you read it the words become mixed with your concept of reality. The truth becomes less clear.
I’m reminded of something that a buddhist monk once said, When you think that you have all of the answers, you’ve lost your way. Now we don’t have a treasury map for finding the truth. We do what we have to do — read, listen, think, look within. Truth brings peace.