28

Veritas Vos Liberabit

The happiest people in basically every free society have a very intimate relationship with the truth. Sadness and tragedy tend to befall the dishonest and truthful alike (see #3), but I’m willing to bet that those who err on the side of being honest dodge a whole lot of bullshit in the long run. As cheesy as it sounds, “the truth shall set you free.”

It’s easy to roll your eyes at such a dramatic expression; one that seems best suited as the tagline for The Shawshank Redemption or some institution of higher learning (my alma mater, in fact). Yes, the truth can set you free in that righteous justice sort of way. But it can also set you free in the sort of hippie, stoner way that aims to have a pretty easy life with minimal stress. Truth is easier, literally. You will spend less mental energy just putting it out there than you will constructing some elaborate lie and then ad-libbing backstory after backstory when it all starts to fall apart. Not only is it easy, it feels great. It’s a sure-fire way to live a life free of guilt and shame, and it tends to make everyone else better off as well. You just tell it like it is, as nicely as possible, then go whistlin’ about your business and let the chips fall where they may. (If someone would have preferred you lied, kindly refer them to #26.)

And trust, the offspring of truth, is easily one of the best things this world’s got to offer. Is there a greater form of currency? Literally, no, as trust of repayment is the cornerstone of every fiat money. It’s really the cornerstone of every other relationship worth having, too. That might be because it is so fleeting; often arduous to gain, and so easy to lose. But once you feel trust, what a liberating and empowering state of mind… hard to beat. But if you’re not consistently truthful, how can you expect it?

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© 2012, Ian Mathias

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