Lance Scranton: Truth or dare
Truth is back in the headlines, as networks and newscasters are crying foul over all the fake news. President Donald Trump and a host of the political class are warning daily about the preponderance of fake news headlines and stories that are creeping into the voters’ conscience. Deception and the attempt to manipulate reality are certainly the precursors to some pretty scary potentials, and we need only look to history for some examples.
Truth, for some, is a tricky word, because it first and foremost implies there is a standard, objective reality that can be determined through our perception. I’m all in with trying to determine what can objectively be determined to be truthful. But, might we agree that with the seriousness of this issue come a few considerations?
Let’s set the table and see where this little experiment takes us: Ideology (on the right or left) hampers truth, due to the oversimplification and falseness of statements such as government is evil, immigration is bad, President Trump is not capable of doing anything good or that any Supreme Court Justice nominated by President Trump is not fit for consideration.
Now, remember, if this is how you truly think about these issues, then your experience is filtered through your belief that these are opinions are worth defending. But, what if you had a rational, peaceful discussion with someone and you both agreed that not all government is evil, immigration is a good thing and has helped our country or President Trump has made some good decisions and that it might be possible that whoever is nominated for the Supreme Court should be granted the process before written off as unqualified?
Truth shows up when we realize we haven’t cornered the market on knowing everything about everyone. Truth is discovered in the simple premise that we can learn from things that we don’t know. The person who knows for certain he or she is right is setting up for the kind of disappointment that comes along with realizing that not accepting that which is objectively true is a choice that gets you no further toward your cause and can blind you from reality.
Truth begins with ourselves. If we are willing to accept that we may not know everything, we set the table for a humble discussion about the truth, which manifests itself in our willingness to accept reality. The objective truth is concealed beneath the shouting, yelling, name-calling multitudes. How can you know what is truth?
You start with deciding that truth is important enough you should bear the burden of its responsibility in your life, each and every day. Then, when you aren’t sure what to do — tell the truth. Then, the truth gets easier to determine, and life begins to make more sense.
Want to know what’s true? Dare to come face to face with how you treat the truth in your own life each and every day.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.