“A lie can fly halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.”

Winston Churchill

I am sure we have all heard versions of this quote before.

And chuckle.

But have you ever wondered why we actually take this kind of sad and sobering thought at face value – kind of as an, uhm, truth? Is it because the world has become overwhelmingly cynical and simply live in a  constant state of belief that everyone lies and it sucks?

What a sad, sobering, thought. But is it really true?

I imagine many of us would think about this and a part of us, maybe even a large part of us, agrees.

We believe somewhere inside us that all people lie.

And what may be worse?

Even when we hear ‘the truth’? We doubt.

And even more worse? The more emphatic someone states their belief in the truth; the more we disbelieve.

It’s kind of crazy if you think about it.

It seems often the “absolute truth” leads to some confusion on our part.

Confused on ‘how can they be so sure’?

And the conclusion of confusion is “someone has lied.”

What a downward spiral we have encountered in discussing truth.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you. “

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

I tend to think all of us a re a bit cynical of people who are too assured in their beliefs, or a belief, but regardless, truth is tricky.

It is not absolute. The beauty in truth is that it creates boundaries. Or maybe more playfully it creates fences which, within, you can find comfort to play with others and be free to say and do some things without thought (let’s call that default thinking) and do some things by challenging some of the truth assumptions.

All of what I just wrote assumes we discuss ‘truth’ because within those boundaries are some shades of gray.

Truth is complex because most truth is combinatorial.

There is one simple ugly enemy to truth because of the shades of gay and the combinatorial characteristics.

The ugly enemy is doubt.

It is because of doubt in truth that a lie can sweep its way around the world while good ole truth is stuck behind dealing with doubt.

A lie is unhindered by the burden of proof. It flies free of such weight.

While truth carries the burden of debate, discussion and understanding.

Now. Let’s be clear. Debate is good. It clarifies. It communicates. It clears the mind of clutter.

But, oddly, nowadays truth’s slowness (in debate and discussion) only enhances an implication of ‘non-true’ and slows down even more with the weight of added burden.

Do we ever wonder why truth takes eons to get around the world while a lie circles endlessly?

Not when you think about it this way.

Sadly, if I am actually right about something for once, I guess the way you can tell a lie from a truth now is that the first is always the lie and the last is always the truth.

In the end the turtle wins I guess. Ponder. This feels important.

Written by Bruce