When Truth Fades…
Ask any person in the street whether the truth matters and invariably everyone says it does. And yet a day doesn’t go by when we don’t see, hear or experience deceit, lies and treachery. Whether on a personal level or on a societal one, the truth is sometimes a hard thing to come by. But the question isn’t whether or not the aforementioned trickery happens, because it does. The question is what impact will it have when the truth is neglected, or even more sinister, intentionally suppressed? What happens when truth fades?
Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature for his seminal work The Gulag Archipelago, noted that “The simple step of a courageous individual is to not partake in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.”
Solzhenitsyn was no stranger to witnessing what happens when truth fades. A decorated Red Army Captain and a firm believer in communism at the time, he served bravely during World War II. However that was not enough to keep him from the horrors of suffering eight years at the point of death in the Gulags (the abbreviation for the Soviet prison camp system). They imprisoned him for writing a letter critical of the Soviet government to a friend.
There he witnessed a system steeped in lies, corruption and malfeasance, where upwards of 60 million people died during a 40-year span. He experienced the full brunt of what it means when truth is in denial.
This blog can’t do justice to a three-volume, 2100-page tome considered by Time Magazine to be the “Best Nonfiction Book of the Twentieth Century”. However, it can bring to light the dire consequences as a result of a society or an individual refusing to accept the truth. For when the truth is no longer spoken without retribution and penalty, it’s only a matter of time before life metastasizes into a phony façade of acceptance. It’s this phony façade that inevitably collapses, leaving untold destruction, misery and suffering in its wake.
If a primary goal of life is to seek tranquility (see It’s Time for a Little Tranquility…), then it must hold that we unremittingly search for the truth. We must become that “courageous individual not willing to partake in a lie,” and we must do so no matter the consequences. We can assure ourselves a life of meaning and purpose in this way and in this way only. Anything else is wont to fraud and emptiness.
No words serve better then Solzhenitsyn’s call out to people everywhere: “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”
And so when truth fades, may we always summon the courage to stand by those words…
For more check out the Global Ebook Awards GOLD & SILVER Winner of 2014 & 2016, The C.A.T. Principle: Change, Action, Trust – Words to Live By available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. See the latest Amazon reviews here. Sign up above and receive this blog once every two weeks to your inbox. Comments and thoughts welcome.