I'm thinking a lot about truth. No prizes for guessing why. In the UK, we are immersed an election campaign that will last for weeks. The claims, the counter claims, artifice, fabrication, exaggeration, obfuscation… The list goes on. It’s telling how many words we use for not telling the truth.
Conversely, we don’t talk about truth as much as we do trust, honesty, openness, transparency. None of these are remotely attainable without truth being at the centre.
And I’ve come to the uncomfortable truth (!) that if I want to live in a less divided, more honest society, the truth has to start with me.
I love the phrase, “You can’t be what you don’t see”. I long for more role models of truth-telling. I’m sure I’ll find them amongst those people who live their lives from a higher purpose that is matched by words and deeds.
So, to bring more truth into my life, I am going to do three things.
- Listen and read more about truth to enrich my thinking. I’m starting with Evan Davis’s book ‘Post Truth’. It’s good. If you have other recommendations for me let me know. I want ideas from a range of sources. My first recommendation for you is Margaret Heffernan’s BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme, “Just Culture”. It was broadcast in 2014 but is very relevant and insightful.
- I’m going to collect and document the positives about telling the truth and share these so we have fewer reasons why not telling the truth is convenient and easier (it’s those words again), and more certainty and confidence about its benefits. I was once asked, “Are you happy?” This simple question unlocked a chain-reaction of decisions in my life. I wasn’t happy and I changed things. I remember thinking that this truth gave me the energy I needed to have the tough conversations.
- On 29-30 January 2020, a colleague, Letesia Gibson, and I are staging a residential workshop around Truth (“You CAN Handle the Truth!”) so we can expand the conversation and build the courage we all need to speak our truth, listen for the truth, encourage the truth. It’s an opportunity for a small group to explore what truth means to us and how we can bring it more into our lives. If you’re interested in joining us, do get in contact.