>> Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The answers I received to yesterday's questions didn't surprise me sadly, all the more reason to be unhappy about them.
I was tickled, of course, that Beth Beck stopped by, which was gratifying and unexpected. But I was hoping I was wrong about the prevalence of dishonesty, laying low, keeping a low profile, not rocking the boat. Why?
In the real world, where physics and chemistry and biology rule reality, the head in the sand techniques, looking the other way, lies and self-deception get people killed, whether the lie is that you haven't had too many drinks to get behind the wheel, vaccines cause autism and should be avoided, or that unexplained, uncontrolled and recurrent damage isn't a safety of flight issue.
But those are just the lies that will kill you (or someone else) quick. There are other lies like words can't hurt people. There's the hatred we hide behind our right to have our own opinions, the professed belief that poor people can never amount to anything, that minorities can never be anybody, that what you are determined who you could become. Each of those lies can discourage a child from pursuing his/her potential - to all of our detriment. And, as sad as it when an outside group promotes that notion, it's even sadder when the minority itself does so.
Lies such as the ones that said real estate prices could only go up, or that taking out three mortgages well beyond one's salary was workable have devastated families across the nation - some losing homes, some losing retirement funds and some losing jobs. Lies about the future of oil and the innocence of carbon may cost people around the world.
Lies can buy people short term gain, but, in the long run, they always lose, they always cause pain (if not more). Lies cost lives and money, reputation and trust. We've gotten blase about honesty, we've maligned it and told ourselves it has to be sacrificed in order to be successful. And, even if we aren't lying personally, we sit quietly by and let the lie live. And that's the just part of the same deception.
I disagree. And I will continue to do so because our future needs honesty more than it needs almost anything else. We won't be able to solve the problems we've caused today without addressing them honestly. Hatred, fear and paranoia are harder to incite (as well as the violence that readily follows) among people who don't deceive themselves.
In the end, it was the Mother who summed it up perfectly: "If no one speaks up, things never change. Kudos to those who at least TRY."
Even if I'm wrong, I want to live honestly. That is part of what I want to give to the future. And, if we, as a nation, can't go down this path, we will be our own destruction.
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.