Truth is the great equalizer. Truth is like water, it rises to its own level.
We live in a world now where truth appears to be expendable and has seemly lost its value. It is nothing for the presidents and heads of state to deviate from the truth and have no real issue with it. Currently the President of this country seems to make up his own truth and he is so good at it that he even has his supports believing them.
When I was much younger and being raised by my father, a very strong southern man with integrity (not perfection), he would insist that we (me and my siblings) told the truth. The opposite of truth is a lie and that was never tolerated. Lies tended to take on a lie of their own. There is a saying that is true. If you tell a lie typically you must tell another one to cover the first one. However, when you live in truth and are truthful in what you say and do people will respect and trust you more. This came into play as I got older because as a child, I found it easier to lie about the bad things I had done as to not receive the punishment that accompanied it. I was not good at it and I think that most of the time my father already knew I was not telling the truth. There were consequences that as a child I did not think about before telling a lie. However, as I got older, I realized through experience that truth has immense power and value.
When I was in my teens, I discovered my sexuality was different from those I knew. I began to explore that part of me when I turned 17 almost 18. However, while I accepted my sexuality, I did not divulge that information to anyone. I pretended to like women and live outwardly a life based on a lie and did so for my own comfort and sanity. As the years went on and I got order and more comfortable in who I was I was able to tell my truth…. I am a black gay man. Telling that truth to others as well as to myself was life a breath of fresh air every time I spoke those words when asked. I was living my truth and that truth afforded me some freedoms and joys that I am sure would not have been there had I been deceptive in my authenticity. In living my truth, I gained the admiration and respect of people because they had seen or heard about so much deceit of men regarding their sexuality. The hardest part about telling the truth is that you must hear and reconcile with the possible joy and pain that it may cause you as well as others. Not all truth telling is laced in aromatic flowers. Some truths are full of thorns. Many of us, including me at times preferred to hear the untruth because hearing and facing what we knew as the truth was too painful.
For example, my mother died when I was 2 years old. I have no memory of her AT ALL. When I was in grade school, I use to make up stories for myself saying that she was not dead but would one day soon show up at 3:15 to pick me up from school. You see the pain of her not ever coming back was hard for my 10-year-old heart to deal with, therefore, I avoided the truth and make up my own story to cope. Some 40 years later I sat in therapy addressing the issue of her absence. I have to again face the truth as a grown man that her death left a whole in my spirit that I would never be able to heal from. Literally after making that discovery during counselling I became parallelized with grief…adult grief and realization of facing the truth.
At the end of the day I find it easier and more rewarding to be truthful in most situations. Quality people of integrity find other quality people of integrity when the truth is part of your being.