Does it pay off to speak truthfully?
We live in an age of images. On each step you may observe an ad, watch videos or movies, we are all online, scrolling the Instagram or swiping people from left to right, we take photos and post them online, we watch our favorite TV show or just relax by listening to music or even reading books, constructing then scenes within our imagination. We may imagine ourselves living dream lives in fantastic places. We imagine our perfect partner or our perfect life events, we imagine ourselves as others. Having our perfect photos on our virtual profiles – we may ask ourselves how much of what we project into the world about ourselves is actually true!?
It surely is easy to reside in depths of Instagram, where everyone else is doing the same as you – presenting an image, rather than showing the truth. So, could we imagine a different scenario of visiting a space where everyone speaks only the truth, both about themselves and about the others. Could we be brave enough to show our real Self to others? Truth always demanded courage – both courage to tell it and courage to take it and accept it. Not all of us like to hear the truth all the time. Flattery and compliments often sound really good, even though we may be aware of their deception. The question here remains, what good is it to speak falsely and to believe something we know isn’t true?
Here, some might argue that there are those lies which do not hurt anyone, and we may even admit that in case of Social Media today, if a person presents themselves in best possible image, even though this does not reflect their daily reality, they aren’t hurting anyone. They just look good on the photo, no harm done. At this individual level with such examples there are many cases in which ethics could turn a blind eye. The problem we do wish to address occurs once those white lies obscure the real image to our own Self – that is when we start to believe in the image we have created based on those lies.
Some people might want to work on themselves, at least at one point in their lives. Others will remain satisfied with the image they have created about themselves. Those others will continue with the masquerade, often putting themselves – or their created Self – in the first place, not caring for the Other. Their lies have become their truth, and those who encounter them will have a great difficulty distinguishing between reality and fabrication. Surely, we may avoid or ignore those obstacles, but what could happen once majority of people rather enjoys the lies and truth is ridiculed or forgotten? I think our post-truth society has already shown us what that looks like. We can only hope that majority of us has learned something in recent years of alternative facts and fake news – at least to think for themselves, question what is presented to us and be frank whenever it’s possible. If it takes courage to speak the truth, then it is obvious that mostly those who have to hide something turn to lies. Once you turn to telling the truth, you reveal everything, you put everything to light.