The Decline of American Civilization, Part II: The Truth Will Set You Free

the truth

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” Jesus

“Truth never hurts the teller” Robert Browning

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it” Flannery O’Connor

“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion” Edward Abbey

“The truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with the seat missing, but it hurts” Leslie Nielsen, Naked Gun 2 1/2

Truth is a tough thing to talk about. So much of it weighs on our life experience and perspective. But our country was founded on certain truths, if maintained, should guarantee our success and survival. Simply stated they are, 1) That all persons are created equal, 2) and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So lets just start there.

The word unalienable means impossible to give up or take away. So it is a truth, one not only that should be self evident, but IMPOSSIBLE to take away. Unless and until this fundamental tenet becomes central to any presidential discussion, everything else is a lie. Because a qualified presidential candidate has to understand that they will represent every individual in this country, whose pursuits for happiness must weigh into the whole. A qualified presidential candidate cannot deride or devalue or demonize any citizen so as to diminish the truth of their right to happiness to seem alienable. It goes against everything the founders dreamed of for our country. A qualified presidential candidate should know that this may not sit well with a large part of the citizenry who only want what they want, and care not for the needs of others. But a qualified candidate should be better than those who live with blinders on…that’s what a true leader does, fight for the truth even when it isn’t popular.

The truths we face today are often cruel. Our planet is suffering for lack of sufficient care. Violence is escalating in the world. People are starving and illness is epidemic. Fear reigns where level heads should prevail. A qualified candidate must face these truths head on knowing that any answer won’t appease everyone, and may anger more than a few. A qualified candidate won’t be daunted by this because they know that it is the central job of the chief executive of this country to first and foremost protect those unalienable rights, which in this time of grave crisis will demand sacrifices from all of us. A qualified candidate won’t base their campaign on pointing the finger and placing blame. A qualified candidate should never rely on the love of the masses, only that they love the masses enough to do what is necessary.

Saying something is true over and over will never make it true. A qualified candidate won’t state lies as truths and truths as lies to fit their agenda. Nothing stirs up the masses and creates a mob faster than a lie that is presented as the truth. It is our responsibility as citizens to check the statements that are made before we tie any emotion to them. There has been so much turmoil as a result of an irresponsible electorate. While I hope any candidate would base their platform on the truth, I certainly don’t expect it anymore. The responsibility of jumping on a platform is my own, and I can chose the route of a fool, or do my due diligence and find the truth first. Inevitably, I am the one responsible for standing with those who will better fight for truth or live in a lie.

Most importantly is that fact that while the truth may often hurt, it is the one thing that will save us. A qualified candidate should radiate that with all their being, then there is no cause for fear because they will inspire the confidence necessary to face whatever is coming. So look at the candidates out there and ask yourself if they are qualified to fight for those truths that define our nation. If not, we face an even sadder truth.


Through the Eyes of Love

eyesSo, seeing with clarity sort of demands a response…meaning you’re not supposed to keep it to yourself. In the last post, I challenged us all to change the culture, to be instruments of love and goodness in the world. In order to do that, we have to change the way we’ve learned to see things…you know, those short-cuts our brains have learned to take after a prolonged pattern of use (often times negative thinking). In order to use our perspective to share the love and goodness we see in the world, it is easiest to start with those we know intimately. It is important to look beyond the obvious, beyond the flaws, beyond the stuff that drives us crazy toward learning to see the goodness first and foremost. Not everyone wears their gifts obviously like a placard. The power of perspective is magnified when we take a moment to share to the world things that lie beneath the surface in a deeper place, and then sharing that goodness for everyone to see. When goodness comes first those more negative pathways begin to dissipate.

I know how I’ve shared how the men in my life can be challenging sometimes…hence the description of my house as crazy town. But they are also men of deep integrity too. I think an apt headstone epitaph for all three of them should include this phrase: If you had integrity, and a full refrigerator…they called you friend. That sense of integrity shows up differently for all three of them. My husband Steve will do everything in his power to help people have optimum health in their lives. He is passionate about understanding and improving health and will never take short cuts. For my eldest son, he is as passionate about developing technology that will help and not hurt the world, he is open and accepting of all people. My youngest son, has the often unspoken power of an athlete that can transform his sport simply by consistent honorable action. He is a true solid and loyal friend. They have taught me that integrity is often one of those qualities that isn’t always seen by the naked eye, but must be observed over a long period of time to appreciate the consistency and truth of it. As for the source of it, they are all men of God, and while they may understand faith differently, the expression of it is simple and consistent.

So the goodness I share today is integrity. Amidst the craziness I see, truth and fairness and loyalty. It is from seeing it in the men in crazy town, that I work hard to see it in the larger world too