My lazy Google search noted that while this ‘advice’ might have been attributed to Mark Twain, the important corollary is that ‘maintaining a lie requires you to never forget what you said’ (source unknown). Nevertheless, knowing, seeking or at least valuing the truth has perhaps never been so important in the prevailing 21st century context of fake news, greed, vested interest, international trade, climate change, human population, and freedom.
As some will know, I aim to avoid posting images of real people, whether related or famous strangers, so I aim to capture images of nature related to my topic, if not tour. The two above, of the same local beach (for me), I thought were appropriate. Truth and lies.
With truth, there can be clarity, calmness, safety, certainty, predictability, productivity, creativity, collaboration, and so much more. Where there is truth, we can get on with the business of sharing, supporting, caring, building, inventing, flourishing. Humanity cooperating and being our best.
But yes, there will always be lies, from time-to-time. Sometimes they are just of the ‘white’ variety. Contrived to avoid harm, to be pragmatic, done so with minimal consequences or necessary scrutiny. Enacted so exceptionally and without malice. However, when lies become the fabric woven into the individual’s, organisation’s or country’s modus operandi, our existence is compromised and corruption entrenched. So with lies comes chaos, the ‘muddied’ or churned waters, the misinformation, the vilification of people as defensive acts, to hide the misdeeds.
My other objective here is to celebrate the positive aspects of my life. And so, yes, I am grateful, as stated before, to live in a country where, mainly, truth is still valued. I an so grateful for our public broadcaster that seeks the truth, and the maintenance of sound journalistic practices.
Never has public broadcasting been so important here in this country where we find a foreign newspaper and media proprietor dominating our news propagation, to suit his vested interests and cronies, rather than the greater interests of Australians and most others around this beautiful planet. On the subject of climate change, that media organisation is guilty of dishonesty on a large scale, both in terms of their misinformation communicated as well as by the convenient omission of substantiated facts and most robust research. Most willing to embrace science and technology when it suits their business model but aggressive at rejecting it when it threatens their wealth.
Every day, there are examples of truth and lies. And the greyness that lives between. Yes certainly, sometimes we do not know, or cannot know. ‘I don’t know’ is the best answer, until we do. The best answer if we are being truthful. When we are not, where there is scrutiny, with persistent journalists and important implications, a truth of sorts will almost always emerge. So we are seeing with Saudi Arabia about now. Soon enough, and sadly enough for the British, we may see the truth emerge about Brexit. Trump? Will Americans see the light, in large enough numbers, and recognise his dishonesty is just plain dangerous, in addition to being the antithesis of MAGA?
The truth can set us free, it can unite us, it can focus our minds on what is important, it can lead to the best levels of community well-being and stability. It is something we must work to safeguard. Yes the storms of opposition at times will overwhelm us, seduce us, badger and harass us, but if w want the best for each other, for our families, communities, countries and planet, we must be courageous.
Honour those who speak the truth and operate on the basis of evidence and open analysis. Do so gently and kindly but with a fierce determination, since ‘lies are the refuge of the scoundrel’ and must be opposed and rejected always.
As we ‘weather’ such storms of misinformation, deceit and manipulation, truth is the anchor. Without an appropriate anchor, we shall be ‘all at sea’, lost a secure base of safety, and lose control or influence over our own destiny. If you value the future, for your children, for your grand-children, and for others, then value the truth, everywhere. To do otherwise is to regress to those earlier times in our evolution when our hind-brains (reptilian brains) dictated our overt behaviour.
We humans have been bequeathed a complex, sophisticated and most impressive cerebral cortex. Among other functions, it is designed to utilise wisdom, memory and consequential thinking to override the otherwise primal and automatic behavioural responses originating in our hind and middle (emotional) brains. Our reptilian brains will do whatever it takes, to survive, and lie. Our emotional brains may cause us to experience guilt, remorse or redemption. Our cortex knows best.
Which brain is driving your existence?