When I was a child reading religious materials, I glossed over the word Truth. It seemed to lack the drama that would captivate the attention of a young mind. In my youth though, I began recognising its contribution to my peace of mind and I became dedicated to upholding truth in my personal capacity. But it is only now in my 30’s, that I am beginning to grasp the enormous weight the truth (or lack thereof) has on our lives, and quite possibly, every single aspect of it.
My understanding of truth is that which is unchanging, eternal, and for the context of our physical reality, fixed for a given time and space. Truth is, it’s as simple as that. But today we have several “truths”: the perceived truth, the widely accepted truth, the politically correct truth, the economically viable truth, the convenient truth…
Scientists driven by a passion to uncover the truths of the world are often directed to study only what big money-driven companies request them to. Even the health industry whose aim should be to promote health… instead has their focus skewed and “facts” blurred by the magnetic pull of where the money is; creating “truths” or at least confusion out of poorly devised studies which aim to conclude only what their sponsors wish to see – impacting our health system, our food system, and resultingly our life spans. As a result, even those studies that expose truths are ignored, because the “accepted truth” is already too deeply rooted in society.
Wars started under the guise of bringing stability and upholding human dignity have succeeded only in degrading these very things.
Prejudices of all kinds, race, religion, gender, are often based on ill-founded misconceptions and twisted truths.
Much of politics has been pushed and pulled by “moving truths” that are spewed out without logic, fact or data, to suit what are sometimes narrow objectives, influencing millions of people none-the-less. The word honourable, used to address members of parliament, had become a meaningless rule instead of a reflection of an individual’s character.
But, despite the destruction caused by lack of truth, we are encouraged not to speak the truth, not to upset the proverbial applecart, not to inflame the influential, not to break the ill-founded norms. “Leave it be.”, they say.
The truth is our world pivots on what we perceive to be the truth. When that truth is skewed, the damage is real. But as COVID-19 breaks on our shores, I see a shift. I see many loud, threatening, prejudiced voices being forced into their homes, their messages becoming outdated and irrelevant. I see well-meaning politicians working hard, with openness and frankness. I see road-blocks for good work being removed. I see humanity coming “together” in thought, word, and deed; I see us acknowledging injustices and searching for ways to share compassion and love. I hope that force and violence will be retracting in areas of war with the personal safety of all aggressors coming under attack by an invisible enemy. I see social media platforms and government being more energetic about damping untruths. And I foresee that scientific integrity will start to find its rightful place because it is not in anyone’s best interests to ignore human health at this time. Is this the dawn of a new age of truth? I suppose it is for each of us to decide before every word we speak or write and every action we take. And as we decide, let us keep in mind that the consequences of untruth are far-reaching, so let us promote a culture of truth because our very existence may depend upon it. And, when we consider our spiritual journeys, which the seers of old describe as being the realisation of truth, it may be true that truth is the reason for our existence itself.
By Natasha Subbiah
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