Sunday, February 28, 2010

What it takes to tell the truth

It used to be easy this thing about the truth. When we were children we knew. So it must be easy since even children learn to tell the truth. The problem comes when we grow up. We know the truth, but there are so many confounding factors. So we think twice, three times and more what exactly is meant by the truth.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary its etiology derives from the word deru, meaning "tree". The reasoning for why a tree is used to be a symbol for truth comes from the solidity of wood. It is something that lasts. It implies steadfastness and trust. It implies faith in its strength.

How does truth measure up today? Placing solid trust in what is being said, does not appear to be important anymore. And where would the truth be coming from? Would it be coming from our leadership? Who are those men and women who give us the supposed solidity that trust is made of. Can we trust what is being said when most of the things being said are twisted to a greedy end?

I hear parents tell their children things they don't mean. "I'll be at your soccer game." "I'll come to your piano rehearsal." "Mom and dad are promising to be at home early on your birthday." To children promises such as that are as if a tree had been planted, knowing that it would grow forever, a very solid presence. The truth is forever. It is not like a blade of grass that sways in the breeze and falls flat when a storm comes.

Trust has a long lifespan. If it is violated it cannot be restored easily. Broken trust is like a tree felled from lightning that cannot be put back. Conversely, new trust is like a sapling that must be nourished and tended so that it can become strong and hard and steadfast. Where is the trust in our leadership. Where is the truth we were promised when we were children?

How can the truth be reestablished with so little tending being done? How can a sapling become a tree when it is being trampled on so much? Let's be careful with what we say so that the trust we expect remains a sturdy tree we can lean against and where we can find restful shade after a strenuous day. Truth is a very restful place.


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