In my active years as a therapist, researcher and writer of psychologically and sociologically oriented books, I wrote one piece I have treasured ever since. And returned to, both for reflection and assorted teaching modules.
The piece was titled simply as “Telling The Truth."
It began like this –
“Most of us like to think we are fairly honest. In fact, most of us believe, wholeheartedly, that we are committed to our personal integrity.
If and when someone questions our honesty or truthfulness, we are usually offended or angry. Oh no! Not I! What do you mean I am lying!
One truth I have come to realize over my many years as a psychotherapist and researcher is that the majority of people in our contemporary society are rather careless about telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.How about you?
Realistically, the whole truth or the full reality of any given circumstance is pretty much beyond the grasp of ordinary folks. So the best we can do is tell the best possible truth as we know it, using that as our working truth until further notice. Overall, that is generally enough for most situations."Carl Bernstein, noted investigative journalist, who along with his partner, Bob Woodward, exposed the Watergate break in cover up have, as one of their main principles about truth knowing (and I imagine truth gathering) that I rather like –
“The best attainable version of the truth.”According to Bernstein these words define the working premise he and Woodward use for their definition of the “truth.” It works for me.
We are caught in a political mess these days that is threatening every aspect of our lives. Based on the now accepted reality or “truth” that we cannot rely on the highest leader of our land to be truthful with us, it is more important than ever that we stand back and personally reflect on the role that truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth, plays in our lives, personally, professionally and POLITICALLY!
The challenge for us all is that, typical of all survivor types (And who isn’t?), is an inclination to be somewhat careless about telling whole truths. There are many reasons for this. In a series of forthcoming blog articles I will be addressing this issue with the added benefit of my excerpting them from the “Telling The Truth” article I wrote more than thirty years ago that has turned out to be more timeless than any other single written piece of mine.
More to come.