On the theme of truth, guest contributor Cheryl Farrell reminds us that you can run, but you cannot hide from the truth
Thank you, Cheryl!
I am showing my age (again) by referencing the vintage game show, Truth or Consequences. Broadcast on radio and television, the show’s contestants were challenged to answer odd trivia questions that led to wacky stunts as “consequences” for responding incorrectly.
“You can’t handle the truth”
Other popular culture reveals the kernel of truth (pardon the pun) about outcomes. “You can’t handle the truth …” is the famous quote by Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie, A Few Good Men, who hides the truth of a crime under the pretense of protecting the greater good.
In the late 80’s, when I worked at a financial institution, I consulted a colleague “John” who interviewed a candidate for a new role at the company. John was an older polite fellow from the South with a dry sense of humor. After he met the candidate, I asked his opinion about her qualifications. With a pause and a wink, he replied, “Well, she has a nice smile … and she sews her own clothes!” While his assessment was not false, his genteel response evaded the truth that she was not qualified for the job.
It’s easy to skirt the truth. The justification often comes with, “What harm could it do?” But, lying by omission, even well-intended, obscures the truth.
An inconvenient truth
A close friend asked me a stunning question about whether I would “bend the truth” if it would save someone’s life. For example, what if telling a lie places my child on higher ranking to get a kidney transplant?
To be honest, I’m not certain what I would do in this situation. My eventual reply was that I sincerely hope my words and actions align with my standards for integrity and morality. I then posed a question to my friend: What if by cheating in order to save my family member’s life results in someone dying who was next in line for the kidney?
Five Truisms About Truth
1. Truth is like the law of conservation of energy: it can neither be created nor destroyed
2. We must practice both knowing the truth and telling the truth
3. Telling the truth requires work, but it’s worth it
4. Truth doesn’t come in sizes and colors—there’s no such thing as a little white lie or a half-truth
5. “The truth will set you free,” as noted in John 8:31-32
Lastly, wisdom given to us as children still applies: “If you tell the truth, you won’t have to ever remember what you said.” Share the good.
Cheryl Farrell is a corporate communications consultant and performance storyteller in Southern California. She has decades of experience in healthcare, education, and financial services. Cheryl was an original cast member of the Jeopardy! Clue Crew and toured the world appearing in more than 1,000 video clips. As a public speaker, she often examines how older black women excel at the intersections of race, gender, and age. Cheryl has a master’s degree in Communication Management from USC and a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA. She is married and has two adult children.
Photo credit - NiketaCH Photography
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