Monday, June 06, 2005

Barefooted Truth

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Mark Twain US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)

Have you ever played the game where you whisper something in someone's ear then it travels around the room, but when it is repeated out loud it is not what was said in the first place. I call it the gossip game, because it mirrors what happens with words whispered by busybodies the world over. And truth or lie soon resemble one another if either is repeated often enough.
A lie just travels faster. I think a lie is uncomfortable to the one who constructs it so they tell it quickly, like passing a hot potato. Maybe it holds enough heat through the first few tellings to keep it moving quickly. By the time it is cool it is so juicy that people cannot resist retelling it over and over, adding more spice as it goes.
The truth gets distorted in the same way, yet in most cases it is not as apt to be so twisted as a lie. If you are dedicated to the truth it takes time to gather facts. If you realize that each truth, (even bad ones), has a reason for existing then it is important to know what spawned it. Telling a half truth is as bad as telling a lie. Most people with half a brain and a whole heart will simply leave well enough alone and let others tell their own truths, in their own way. A barefooted truth that never gets its shoes tied is much better than a bald-faced lie in hyper drive.