We live in a time where truth seems to be negotiable, even though truth really has only one version. Sure there are sides of it, portions of it, pieces and segments, yet when you put all the pieces together there is only one real truth. This can be hard to remember once a story gets processed through the media as opinions, spin and filters are applied to gain market share. It is disappointing that the truth only prevails if it provides ratings points or trends across social media platforms.
Perhaps that is why Henry David Thoreau said theses words, to remind us that being true to our work, words and friend is a valuable pursuit. If we lose value is what we say and back up those words, why would anyone believe us about anything? And if we cannot be trusted in our work then how do we live, support and grow our lives? And if we have no friend that will trust us we are alone day in and day out.
I worked with a man that built his ‘brand’ as the one who could make anything look like the truth, and he was very proud of this. He told me many stories about how he spun things to win the account, or said things to get the talent to accept the offer, and he even used this ‘amazing skill’ in his personal life. After every meeting with him I washed my hands, I felt covered in slime and found it difficult to work with him for very long. I later found out that everyone in the very large company knew how slimy he was, no one trusted him, yet he was always the big gun they sent in to close the deal. They used him to win then left the rest of us to clean up his mess. The lesson I learned was the value of one truth no matter how the dollar landed.
We can spin anything to make ourselves look good. We can tell a portion of the truth or even slant things to go our way. The problem is this habit turns us into liars in all areas of our life. We may win the short game yet in the long run we will be alone. Without truth or trust what’s the point? Rigorous honesty is the best path.