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The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.  ~  Mark Twain

Earlier, in the course of reading some other material as I was preparing to gear up the inner writing circuits, I came across the above quote by Mark Twain. It rather subtly lifted itself off the page and kind of adhered amidst other wandering thoughts. I've learned my own quirks over six decades of life and experience tells me that whenever something settles into my consciousness, or some inexplicable voice from within chatters at me, I'm supposed to pay attention. I'm not a reactionary thinker, but more one of those 'delayed reaction' types. I have second thoughts about everything and will ponder a premise from a plethora of directions. It's that unsettling trait of which insomniacs are made.

It seems all one hears these days are laments; laments of all the negativity, the sensationalized attacks, outright lies, and permeating corruption in all areas of our lives. Now, two weeks away from the culmination of twenty months of political rhetoric and untold millions of dollars spent, we are hearing of possible fraud again looming in the inner chambers of voting machines, some states admitting they may not be adequately prepared to deal with record turnout, and deception running rampant in the voter registration process. Has it all been for naught?  

We're bombarded with the anguish of the middle class as jobs and financial security, whole lives, seem to be dangling over a precipice. We watch in shock as a government scrambles to bail out the huge corporations and banks that gambled freely with money not theirs to risk. And, that these institutions were allowed to so by that same government with a lifting of regulations and oversight. Insult was added to injury when we realized the 'rescue' was going to be paid for the same way the disaster was created; with our, the victims, money. It seems like we are the only ones who don't actually get to roll the dice!

 We watch with disgust as politician after politician is exposed for behavior and values not worthy of one elected to represent or lead us. We hear of the horrors of healthcare and the plight of the poor, the rape of the resources and the dire consequences of runaway national debt. We're made aware of the erosion of education and the implosion of the American dream. Too, the powers that be know you've all been pummeled with the ever-running breaking news banners of the media, the in-depth analysis of the analysts, and yes, the verbose opinions of a lot better columnists than me.  

So what does all of this have to do with a simple statement uttered long ago by a since-passed philosopher and writer taking residence in my brain? Simple – everything I've just mentioned and all other evils you can think of. It came to me almost as an epiphany. Notice the reference to 'truth' in that quote. Notice, also, the reference to 'individual'. I asked myself, what is the synonymous finite of an infinite concept - truth? I thought of one answer immediately; honesty; the loss of a simple thing like honesty in thinking and behavior. Whether it be with ourselves, our loved ones and friends, or the basic innate principles of an entire culture, there is a ripple in the pond effect that stems from that loss. It actually becomes an immortal lie and literally changes the course of history. No one is guilt free and that is, for me, a profound revelation. For what is a family, a community, a government, a nation, or a world but the sum total of its parts?

Remember the wooden puppet Pinocchio? What a great concept that little story was for kids. Every time Pinocchio told a lie, his nose grew. Why, if that were really the case, we'd all be lined up for a nose job by the sixth grade! Think about it the next time you tell your child or grandchild to answer the phone and tell someone you're in the shower if you don't feel like talking. Think about it the next time you're considering calling in sick when you aren't, or taking that pencil from the supply closet. Think about it when the bagger at the supermarket accidentally puts the apple pie belonging to the next person in line in your cloth carry bag.  

On a larger scale, think about it when you make that impulse buy on a credit card when you know you can't really fit it in next month's budget. Think about the time you got angry with a teacher because they gave your kid a bad grade, or the time you did their homework for them, or didn't enforce TV curfews Think about whether you complained or not when the stock market was at the height of the 'party' and you were benefiting. Think about whether you took the time to check on the voting record of your district's congressman. Think about those secret times you judged someone based on religion or race, or even gossip! And, think about it real hard before you vote on November 4th. Maybe things do 'trickle up' after all.

And an aside . . .

I do want to thank everyone for the kind and encouraging comments placed on many of my columns here. I do have a lighter side, I promise you. :) I just think this election period and the state of our nation and the world is so crucial, I owe it to myself and my fellows to speak up. Hopefully, as honestly as I can. I intend no disrespect to anyone and offer only thoughts to be considered.          

Susan Haley, Author


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Oct 19, 2008
    • The definition of truth, is really interesting ... to ponder as I deal with truth in my work as and investigator.  I actuallly have this on my wall in my office...  


      The definition of truth is: Reality; actuality.
      often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.

      Think about it.. truth is the supreme reality.. supreme reality is on the level of God.  The highest authority.. Supreme.  I find that many can not live with the truth and create worlds they create or refuse to see the truth such as infidelity or as you pointed out above, the simple truth they cant pay for what they purchased... and others live for the truth and look for it and believe the truth will set you free...  

      Im the truth seeker Im told. I believe truth is the supreme reality.   Mark Twain, had it partly right because, truth is supreme and truth will find a way.  I believe that, I live for truth and I wait for truth.  It does come, no matter how many lies cloud it.  

      I seek the truth.  Its out there.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Oct 20, 2008
    • Excellent blog, Susan, especially the way you related the concept of being honest to all of us, from individuals up to governments. It’s so true - each one of us needs to take personal responsibility.  

      And thanks for being such a compelling “voice“!


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Oct 20, 2008
    • Great comment on ‘truth’ greeneyedlady. Pondering the ‘reality’ of truth is a deep subject and quite fascinating, as your profession would surely show.  

      I wrote in my first book that I discovered two aspects of truth . . . the many small ’t’ truths born out of individual perception and yes, the one ultimate, or supreme, reality. The big ‘T’ Truth beyond perceptual judgement, or as you stated, Truth at the God level. I don’t think any human being is capable of knowing the Divine Mind, hence we have a plethora of perceptional small ’t’ truths.  

      The same can be said about ‘reality‘. Since no two beings think or perceive exactly alike and each has their own ‘reality‘. There are approximately 7 billion realities on this Planet and 7 billion small ’t’ truths.  

      The absolute and ultimate supreme truth, being unknowable on this plane, is not affected or changed by our perceptions of it. It just IS.

      I suppose that could be illustrated in the phenomenon of ‘eye’ witnesses in your field. Five people may witness the same purpetrator in the commission of an absoloute act. That purpetrator is the absolute truth of who performed the absolute act. Five witnesses sincerely believe they saw the offender truthfully and relay a description. The chances are great, you’ll get five different ‘realities‘. The purpetrator and the act remain unchanged by the perceptions but suddenly there are five truths about it. Oh lord . . . here I go again. :)

      Mark Twain, however, was quite the cultural and political philosopher of his day. I suspect he was a ponderer, too. :) I think he was referring to the more worldly truths of the principle and behavior of the species. How one errant perception can grow from an individual into a collective into a cultural tenet ultimately changing the culture itself.
      So we have to ask ourselves, unlike the ‘absolute realm’ of the Divine Truth which can’t be changed, do small worldly acts of almost innocent dishonesty result in the growth of an errant personality that ultimately changes the way we live and the values we have as an entire culture. History and science teaches us much through simple cause and effect, action and reaction, and tendencies of motion and direction all of which are observable and provable.

      Fascinating subject! I love it. Thanks for your input!


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Guy wrote Oct 21, 2008
    • Thanks for the great blog Susan! Unfortunately we do have to seek for the truth amongst lies in this, and every election. I also wish it wasn’t so easy for us to tell a lie because even the smallest can do great damage. If our noses did grow like Pinocchio’s we would think harder before opening our mouths.

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