28 May 2014

The problem: Speaking the truth

Sometimes speaking out is costly. It might cost you or those who happen to know something. Do you remember the movie, “Man of the Year” (2006)? Lewis Black’s character is talking to the Robin Williams character who was just elected president of the US (but not really-- it was computer error). They are facing the conundrum of being honest and admitting the election had errors so that Williams’ Tom Dobbs won. If they tell the truth, Dobbs has to decline the apparent victory. If they don’t tell the truth, they have to live through the presidency with the guilt of their non-disclosure. I won't spoil the ending to tell you what William's Dobbs does or doesn't do. (By the way, see the bottom of this blog for a bit on Wikipedia)

Sounds like Victor Hugo in “Les Miserables” when he says through the main character Jean Valjean who is met with a similar conundrum, “If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned!” Does he tell the policeman who gives his life to find Valjean that he is the chased-one? Guilt for non-disclosure; condemnation for disclosure. A double damnation. NO way out.

Truth telling is costly to be sure. When your mother asked you if you had been smoking, you might have swallowed the butt and looked a bit shocked like this. I remember my niece back in the early 70s who had a mouth full of bread and I asked her "Have you been into the bread drawer?" and she shook her head denying the accusation. Silly, but a three-year old often accepts that incongruity.

What will it cost you if you admit to things with your boss? Or with your husband? Or to your roommate and neighbor? What about admitting things to yourself? Or to God?

Truth telling is an activity that God started a long time ago. He spoke and the world was created. And every time He speaks, Truth abounds. He tells the truth about himself. He tells the truth about you. He tells us how to get along with each other. Honestly. Yeshua said, "If you continue in my word, you will be my disciples, and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." (John 8.31-32)

Won't you have a read of His words today? Check out Bible online for what God might speak to you about today.

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Something about informational truth:
A comment about encyclopedias and Wikipedia: In the movie "Man of the Year", Black’s character (Eddie Langston) uses an image of the problem as if it were on television, “Two guys are sitting side by side. On one side is a crazy, lunatic, a Holocaust denier. On the other side sits a noted and honored historian, who knows all about the Holocaust. There they sit, they look like equals. Everything they say seems credible. If everything is credible then nothing is credible. We stop listening.”

Anyone, everyone can edit/ modify a Wiki listing. If everyone has authorship/ authority, then no one does. No wonder we are not learning. No wonder truth has gone out the window. Here's what I mean.

When I was a kid if I wanted to know something, I would look it up in the encyclopedia. Or I would ring the library and speak with an authority. But no one is an authority now, since everyone can be one. We #hashtag and communicate that way. Or we Facebook our ideas. But they are not real knowledge; only narrative. That's where Eddie Langston got it right.

1 comment:

Bob Mendelsohn said...

Paul George is asked what he thought of the game between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers, in the moments after the game is over, and he says he didn't think the officiating was good. Now he is fined $25,000 for such comments. What? Is there no freedom of speech? Is there no chance for a man to say his say (The commentators get to say whatever during the game without getting in trouble with the league.)

Terrible. (Truth be told)