Monday, February 27, 2017

Truth Matters: Especially Now

I honestly never imagined living in a time where terms like "alternative facts," and "fake news" would appear abundantly in the newspapers I read, on social media and on the airwaves. Although Randy Rainbow has a fantastic satire on "Alternative Facts," and Saturday Night Live has lots of material for the foreseeable future, attention to what is actually true can be obscured in the and static of "alternative facts," many of which are made up or just plain lies.

The New York Times, one of the publications that was not allowed to attend a recent news conference by our Twitter-loving president, published a wonderful statement about why truth matters, especially now.

The truth is hard.

The truth is hidden.

The truth must be pursued.

The truth is hard to hear.

The truth is rarely simple.

The truth isn't so obvious.

The truth is necessary.

The truth can't be glossed over.

The truth has no agenda.

The truth can't be manufactured.

The truth doesn't take sides.

The truth isn't red or blue.

The truth is hard to accept.

The truth pulls no punches.

The truth is powerful.

The truth is under attack.

The truth is worth defending.

The truth requires taking a stand.

The truth is more important now than ever.

This piece reminds me that truth is something we know in our hearts, in our guts, and in the grounded part of our minds. Truth provides grounding for sense of self, our important relationships and the fabric of our lives. Truth is the foundation on which we build a solid presence in the world, and on which we make grounded, sustainable decisions.

Inundate us with falsehoods and alternative facts, and it becomes hard, if not impossible, to find vision, direction, connection and grounding for relationships, our actions and our lives. We become overwhelmed, isolated, afraid, trapped, and overtime, exhausted. Truth perhaps belongs on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

It is important to step back, step away and step out from the media tornado that is swirling around all of us, so that we do not get lost or swept away. We need space to listen to our hearts and guts, and think clear thoughts, so that we retain a grounded sense of reality, a grounded sense of self, and can make healthy choices for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.

It seems clear that truth is a basic human need. And it is critical for safety, understanding differences and finding common threads in our human experience. We do need truth now more than ever.