Truth by Indu Balakrishnan

Good. Bad. Truth. I add these three words in the same line because in many ways, they are not absolutes. 

How can truth not be absolute? It’s so black and white, you could state. I used to be like that too. I was always a black and white girl. Yes or no. Here or there. No such thing as middle ground. It kinda used to be like my personality. I’m rarely, if ever, in an average mood. Either delirious with joy or depressed. 

So, in my head that was the only kind of truth there was. And then, I slowly realized that it was not so. There is something called subjective truth. This is based on a person’s perception of what happened. A very common phenomenon during a fight. I take the example of a couple because that is a lot more fun. 

“Did you speak to your ex?” “No”. Ten days later. “I ran into her. She told me that she met you.” “Well, I ran into her just like you did”. “But you told me that you did not speak to her”. “I did not SPEAK to her. We just exchanged pleasantries and left”. “Whatever”. 

Both parties seem to be correct. Yet, both parties are on the opposite sides. This is clear proof that truth is subjective. Pretty much like history. Depends on who is saying it. 

Being a parent (and sometimes spouse), white lies have become quite acceptable. “The principal called and asked why you haven’t seen the videos they have sent”. “Yes, I lit the lamps every evening when you were out of town”. “ I never used to shout at my mother like that”. Stuff like that. Harmless, yet not true. 

And then we have the fibbers. I see them at work. “Have you completed your task?” “Yes”. “But the document says otherwise”. “Oh, I didn’t understand your question”. 

And then there is the objective truth. This is confirmed by science and is universally accepted. AKA Facts. “Earth is flat.”. “Oops no. Science now says that Earth is round”. 

Now that we have looked at various definitions of truth, the deeper question would be, am I a truthful person? In my heart I would like to believe that yes, I am. I do not lie. When asked a question, I do work on saying it as is. 

And I have fibbed on occasions. I have given a couple of examples above. And then there is the deeper darker side that I keep hidden inside of me. We all have different versions of ourselves, don’t we? There is one that I don’t show anyone. 

So, is the version that regular people see a lie? If I believe that I am a truthful person, should I show all of me to everyone? 

I disagree strongly. So this is my conclusion. There is absolute truth. And then there is the slightly modified version of it. The biggest truth that I believe in is ‘truth to self’. Am I true to myself at the end of the day? Do I listen to my conscience and live the life I believe is right in my eyes? 

I’d want to believe so. 

Then yes. 

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