Posted by: Abe's Blog | March 26, 2010

Truth

Truth. Where have you gone?

I went through a time in my life in which lying became second nature. I lied as part of an elaborate self-protection mechanism and justified it as a necessary coping skill, which I am sure it was. However, I hated myself for my lies, and I resolved that if and when my life could be turned around, I would never lie again. My life turned an abrupt corner many years ago and I have tried to hold to my resolution. Perfection is impossible to a human, but I can say that I have not allowed myself to slip back into the world of lies.

But now it seems that I am surrounded by a world habituated by liars. The political world is the obvious mecca, with dark vitriolic fables spouting daily from the mouths of the elected. It sickens me. I want to respect something. Someone. Is there not one among us who can rise above? Not yet.

The lies seep out from halls of Washington and spread to the dreary populace. Even our churches are not spared as the race to become the new hip and cool mecca for today’s fickle generation continues. How many pastoral souls have been sold in the quest for earthly power? The path to greatness is littered with the discarded bodies of the disheartened.

I am a member of the social demographic Generation X, a populace born post-Vietnam, coming of age during a time of relative peace. Those of the new, or Next, generation are referred to with the brilliant title of “Generation Y”. Brilliant. While Gen Xers were known for our lackadaisical attitudes, slouching, and Nintendo skills, we have grown to become world leaders in business and new technology. Many of us are parents of the new generation. I amuses me to see how these “generations” are named, categorized, and associated with certain group behaviors. But apparently there is a method to the madness.

Generation Y is said to be looking for something “real”. Mark McRindle of the Australian Leadership Foundation writes,
        “Not only must our communication style be credible, but we must be also. They don’t expect us to know all about their lifestyle, nor do they want us to embrace their culture. They are simply seeking understanding, and respect. If our communication has a hidden agenda, or we are less than transparent, it will be seen. This generation can sniff a phony from a long distance.” 

We have all heard this. Millions of dollars have been poured into marketing research on how to reach this group. Barak Obama’s election was a testimony to the power of this group’s influence upon the direction of this country. They heard his message of hope and change and…believed. And what now? The successful campaign seemed to be aimed directly at the hearts and minds of the young who believe that anything is possible and believed in the “truth” that was preached to them. Having engaged in the process, they have watched the political machine and begun to see the truth of it all–politicians will do and say whatever it takes to remain in power for their entire lives if necessary. And now…has Generation Y disengaged?

It matters not the label of our generation. We all want Truth. Either we seek truth or we disconnect, assuming that all around us are the facades of deception. Either we accept the wall of lies, or we break through, seeking the white light of Truth. We all want something real.

How can we change the world? How can we turn the black tide of lies. I believe we can do so one man, one woman, one child at a time. We make a choice, “As for me and my house” we will live in the light of Truth. We will live by example; we will not accept the dark path. We will teach our young to speak in truth, no matter the cost. For in the end, what gain is the world should we lose our souls?

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Responses

  1. I can’t think of a thing to add to that…except thank you for saying it!

  2. Wow! You said it, Abe!!! ROCK ON! GREAT BLOG!!!

  3. It’s funny: we first learn to lie in order to spare people’s feelings. Then, when we see the positive results, it reinforces our value of the lie, and we begin to use it for anything and everything. I guess lies are like that.

    But they take so much work. I’m nothing if not lazy, so lies don’t work for me. The downside now though is that I can’t lie even to spare someone’s feelings. Doesn’t mean I’ll blurt out the truth but….sometimes silence in the face of a comment like “I wish I was as slim as her” still says a lot.

    This blog was well-written, as usual Abe.

    • Yeah, lies do take work. You have to remember them all and the convoluted tale that they weave.

      Thanks, Wolf. I’ve been having a bit of a block lately. I think I have three drafts going nowhere.

  4. There are degrees of lying — right? I mean, “marketing” in and of itself is ALWAYS a lie. Buy this and you’ll be that — and was the message of hope and change really a lie? I don’t know. Somethings certainly changed since Obama got into office and…I feel more hopeful than I did with Cheney and Bush — it may not be the CHANGE I thought I was going to get, but did that piece of marketing really lie? I don’t know.

    I’m not pro-lying — but I do believe there are degrees, reasonings that make sense. Maybe it’s just not so black and white. And when it comes to politics, we as a society forget that politics is a game of strategy and negotiation. We got warped into believing that every politician is going into office to do something other than POLITICS – but politics is all about the art of manipulation, negotiation, deal-making, as well as leadership, etc.

    Well, I see you got my mind racing — thank you! I’m going for a run now by the beach and will have this going through my head — the art of lying (hmmm…).

    thanks Abe!

    • Very good points, Nadia. Thank you for your perspective. I was especially interested to see your viewpoint on the message of hope and change. I really am curious to know how people’s viewpoints have changed on this–have they grown stronger? Disenchanted? Thank you.

      I think you are right about politics being the art of manipulation and negotiation…I guess I’m an idealist and I wish it wasn’t so. I just want people to say what they mean and live it right out in the open without having to guess at what they “really mean”.

      Have a great run!

  5. Lying has become de rigueur in politics and pop culture, to the point where we’re not really bothered by the lies we hear.

    Was Tiger Woods sorry about all the lying he’d done? I’d venture to say no since what stopped him wasn’t a sore conscience but having been caught. And most people were titillated by his behavior, not shocked. I’ve heard many commentators imply or outright say that they would expect no less of such an outrageously talented athlete. Wouldn’t every man do the same if he had the opportunity? *shudders* As someone who believes in keeping promises, I seriously hope the answer is no.

    And, really, society teaches children to lie. Just look at how public schools handle competitions these day. During my daughter’s school “Olympics” each child won a ribbon and no one was declared to be the winner or loser. The TRUTH was that there absolutely was a winner and loser at each event. We can’t all be excellent at everything, but we lie to our kids and teach them that they can.

    Anyway, those are my two cents. I loved Nadia’s comment, above, by the way.

    • Hey Kate! Good to see you.

      You are so right about the way our children are being taught. It is what made a show like American Idol so entertaining (and sad) as children who were never told that they stunk at singing threw themselves upon the mercy of an unrelenting truth-teller like Simon Cowell. Ouch! The truth hurts sometimes.

      I know that it makes people feel good to coddle kids and tell them that they are all great. They ARE all great, after all! But they aren’t great at EVERYthing. So when they begin to move out into the real world, the expectations that they have may not meet the reality which is life and which is: Life is tough sometimes. You have to work hard to make it through.

  6. I meant to say “hi” and that it’s good to read you after all this time. 🙂

    • Well hello to you, too! Glad to see you are still at it as well!

  7. That was really amazing to read. Extremely thought provoking.

  8. I was looking for something “real” and came across this, written ironically ON my mom’s bday last year. I don’t know if you remember all that much about her, but truth wasn’t her greatest strength. For me, however, through my life, genuine honesty has become something I value MOST. Unfortunately I’ve found genuine honesty to be a rare find. It’s like the concept of “your word is your honor” got lost somewhere along the way, and I’m considered “old school” because of my stand on this. Nice to see I’m in good company as us “old school” types go. 😉


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