“Truth through words and ideas to change lives”
That’s my personal mission. My burn statement. It’s what I’m about.
It’s a guide by which I make decisions about what I do with my time; my energy; my life.
To me truth is core, because it changes things; it changes everything. I care deeply, profoundly about our ability to continue to agree that truth matters.
But even before you can believe that truth matters, you have to believe that truth exists.
That truth is.
You see, to put it in today’s terms, truth is totally a thing.
There are things that are factual, regardless of perspective.
And when something is the truth, we disregard it at our peril. Because it doesn’t stop being reality. We simply strip ourselves of the most important tool we have for navigating the reality that is and continuing to move towards the reality we desire. We disempower ourselves from living deliberately.
When we disregard truth, relationships suffer
None of us ever see eye to eye completely with another human being. We all have different perspectives, experiences and opinions, and one of the great challenges, but also joys, of relationship is learning what the world looks like through the eyes of another person, and communicating through those different perspectives.
Such communication, however, and the relationship that grows from it, requires an acknowledgement by both people that objective facts exist and hold weight. Without those handholds, those shared points of reference, with which to grapple together through conversations, you are effectively trying to have a conversation where one person is talking about designing microprocessors whilst the other is talking about the virtues of 19th century English novelists.
It won’t make any sense, it will be impossible to connect, and there will be no shared experience of processing through which relationship can grow.
When we disregard truth, the powerless suffer
Within a given context, there is a status quo in which there are those with more power and those with less, and sometimes there is injustice within that.
The powerful often have tools at their disposable for maintaining the status quo, that the powerless do not have for disrupting it. Tools such as influence, resource and authority.
What those with less power will always be able to wield for their own protection and justice, however, is the truth. The truth exposes reality for all that it is, and allows for discussion about whether it is as it should be.
When we disregard truth, we take away the ability of those who have been disempowered by the status quo to identify those effects and push forward conversations and actions for justice.
When we disregard truth, growth suffers
If we aren’t willing to be clear-eyed about where we are, we risk ignoring where change is needed, and hamper the potential for growth. This is true individually, as well as communally.
If you disregard the truth of your fitbit that your workout is too low-impact to be getting you the results you want, the likelihood of needed change in the form of fitness diminishes significantly. You stifle your growth as a healthy person.
If you disregard the truth that although your recruitment process is supposes to be meritocratic, somehow the high socio-economic applicants are the ones that keep getting accepted for the internships, you blind yourself to the systemic issues that may be at play and prevent identification and alteration of the things that need improvement. You stifle your growth as a healthy company.
This goes for all areas of life – reality is always our friend, in that it equips us with the truth we need to pursue growth.
A great leader who was killed for not compromising the truth once said, “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light”.
Truth is. It doesn’t go away. It can’t be intimidated or bought.
We can move forward in its light, or we can turn our back on it and stumble around dangerously in darkness.