I can think of at least 10 idioms involving truth that I’ve heard regularly used:
- In vino veritas (In wine, truth. AKA delicious honesty)
- Truth is in the eye of the beholder (Best get that out before it scratches)
- A grain of truth (Was this in the beholder’s eye?)
- The moment of truth (As opposed to the others that are all lying liars that lie)
- The naked truth (Which lost its clothes in a fight with the other moments)
- The gospel truth (We’ll take it from here, darling)
- Stretch the truth (Otherwise how will it go running?)
- In truth (Because I lie to you every other sentence)
- Truth will out (It’s REALLY tired of the closet y’all)
And my absolute favorite:
- Truth is stranger than fiction (No snark here — absolutely correct)
Why do we have so many ways to express the conditions of honesty? Is truth such a rarity that we have to define a language structure around its occurrences?
I say yes.
First off, what IS truth?
From Merriam-Webster Online:
- the real facts about something
- the things that are true
- the quality or state of being true
- a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true
True is defined as “agreeing with the facts; not false; real or genuine.”
Ok, most of these definitions suck. Let’s try something else.
An “archaic” version of the truth definition (according to MW):
Sincerity in action, character, and utterance.
(Doesn’t that sound classier?)
Here’s the kicker though — truth can change!
How long it would take to get from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia 200 years ago (too dang long) is much different from how long it would take today, yet both those times are “fact.” They are known quantities, relative to their time period.
Relative to their time periods.
Truth is relative.
Relative to your time.
Relative to your friends/family.
Relative to your experiences.
RELATIVE TO YOU.
Let me repeat.
It is totally freaking fine if our personal truths are not exactly, or even remotely, same.
There’s not a damn thing wrong with that.
Your truth may not equal my truth. I respect that difference, and I will still respect you.
My truth may not equal your truth. I hope you respect that difference and continue to respect me.
The system breaks down when I am obligated to hold to a truth that causes me to go against mine*, or when I oblige you to hold to my truth as it is going against yours.
Truth is becoming an endangered species.
We slowly let truths die in the face of opposition, judgement, and fear.
Our truths wither as we fit ourselves into predefined boxes, crying out for room to stretch and grow.
At core, you ARE your truths. They define you. Your truths are an integral part of who you are. The more you bind yourself with the truths of others, the more you stifle YOU in favor of playing someone else.
What can we do about it?
Stand up for truth.
Voice it. Own it. Live it.
After all, if you’re not going to champion your own truths, how can you expect anyone else to?
I’d love to hear your story! Tell me about one time you’ve defended your truth in the comments.
*This does not include violence to others or to my/your self.