The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is

The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.Winston Churchill

Bernard Madoff - serving 150 years in jail for his lies.

What does that mean?
This quote says that the truth is a stubborn thing. It says that people won’t always appreciate the truth. It says that some will attack it with malice in their hearts and minds. It says that some will deride it because of their lack of understanding.

But still, the truth remains. There it is. Unwanted, unappreciated, unwelcome. But it just won’t go away. There is a shorter quote that says the same basic thing as this quote, but in a slightly different way: “Truth will out.” The Bard did have a way with words, didn’t he?

Why is honesty important?
Honesty, or telling the truth the first time and every time, is important because without a reputation for honesty, who could possibly belive you when you are in need of help? Honesty, and a reputation for the lack of it, is the moral of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” story.

While honesty is but one aspect of character, a lack of honesty will impune the entirety of your character. Who can believe any statement or rumor of virtue when it is told by a known liar? Eventually, the truth will be known, but the reputation of the liar will delay the revealing of the good while it will hasten the revelation of the lies. Remember that trust is the first victim of a lie. Only afterwards does the reputation fall.

Where can I apply this in my life?
Have you ever known or spent any significant time with someone whom you could not trust, someone who was a stranger to the truth? I have, and it was not a pleasant experience. How do you know what you can believe, and how do you know what is a lie? When it is at work, it’s even worse, isn’t it?

Eventually, people start to figure things out, the truth being a stubborn thing, but in the mean time, the damage has been done, hasn’t it? Although the liar may have tried to hide the truth, obscure it, attack it or deride it, it still eventually came out. While it may have been fun for the liar at the beginning, it certainly wasn’t at the end, was it?

How often do you stretch the truth? I’m not talking bowling scores or fishing stories, but lies of substance? Something beyond subterfuge (like setting up a surprise party), but something serious, where the lie was chosen because the truth was too painful to face.

For those of you who have been through this before (or were raised well), you may already have a very solid grip on honesty, having learned the lessons from discipline or embarrassment. For those who haven’t yet, don’t worry. You will eventually (with the possible exception of those with a pathology).

For those who need to (or wish to), I would ask you grab some paper and write down the last half dozen or so lies of substance which you have made. Things like saying you were at a friend’s house when you were out somewhere else, fudging about financial dealings (sports bets or shoe shopping), or any other betrayal of trust.

Write down next to each entry the person (or persons) who’s trust you are betraying. Then write down how that betrayal will hurt the person(s) in question, personally, emotionally, financially or in any other manner. Also list what damage will then follow to the relationship which you had with the person(s) in question when the truth finally comes out.

Now, take the first entry on your list and consider where you will be in 3 months, one year, and at ten years in the future if you keep on this path. How long will the person(s) remain associated with you? What will the consequences be? How many others will be hurt? Do this at each step of time for each entry. Burn the feeling of misery into your psyche, into your soul and associate the pain with lying.

Imagine how Bernie Maddoff might have behaved if he had foreseen the harm he did to his clients. How he might have changed his behavior if he had foreseen that his eldest son would commit suicide over the scandal. Bernie thought he could hide the truth, obscure it, evade it. But the truth is incontrovertible. It is stubborn. And it will come out.

Don’t be a Bernie, for your sake, for the sake of your family, and for the sake of your victims. The truth will out, and you will be found out. Take the easy way out, tell the truth. From the beginning.

From: Twitter, @hillsdale
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/winstonchu129864.html
Photo by The United States Department of Justice (Mug Shot)

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