The Truth Hurts
Truth is not subjective, it isn’t up for discussion. It is a standard set of facts, which exist on their own without the need for interpretation. How you feel about the information presented, what your reaction is to it, maybe perhaps the sticky point.
The truth about America is real and honest and apparent for all to see. If you choose to look away, or if you choose to disbelieve, or if you choose to believe something else then there really isn’t much left for you in terms of reality. I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating the reasons why someone may not believe the truth and have come to some pretty solid conclusions. Reality is sometimes scary- not liking what we see in front of you is the main reason for denial. Being afraid of the truth- fear drives so many negative actions that it can easily be confused with anger or hate. Inability to cope with the consequences of the truth- as all good 12 step programs will teach you, the first step is admitting there is something there. Facing reality with the promise of change- I think this one may be the toughest of them all, as some people are very comfortable in the status quo even when it isn’t ideal. The fear of change is just too great and it sometimes feels easier to push against the change, allowing you to carry on in your current state.
The old saying goes that the truth will set you free, and this couldn’t be more correct today than anytime it has been uttered in the past. As Americans, we are always on the course set for freedom, whether in pursuit or in exercising our rights or even fighting for the opportunity. Freedom is a deeply embedded fiber in the cloth of our existence. We love what it stands for and what it allows in terms of expression, rights, and our everyday life liberties. Most Americans haven’t ventured out enough to be able to understand the importance of this luxury completely, which is unfortunate. Not understanding the flip side of privilege doesn’t allow for the opportunity to truly appreciate how valuable of an asset this is. Many Americans look at freedom as a license to do whatever they want, which to some degree it is, however, in the advanced society we are living in it comes with many responsibilities. The responsibility to look out for our fellow citizens, and the responsibility to take care of the environment around us, and the responsibility to act with compassion, good judgment, and kindness. Some may feel that these are not mandatory, or even important, but I’d beg to differ that it is exactly what our forefathers had in mind when dreaming up the grand vision of America way back in the day.
Discussions regarding the truth with those who chose not to partake in reality are no more useful than cleaning up during a tornado. As sad and destructive as it can seem, the best course of action in dealing with this is our mother’s grade school bully advice- just ignore them. As angry and evil and ever-present as it sometimes feels, the good and the positive will always win out. Our fundamental beliefs of happiness, love, and individualism are the reason so many wonderful things are allowed to happen in our country. We need not forget the struggles and the sacrifices of those who came before us. Those who challenged the norms and regulations and pushed through the hate and injustice to move the needle, if even just a little further north, for those who came next. But we didn’t come this far to just come this far. We aren’t done. We aren’t giving up and we are certainly not willing to give in to any forces who wish to do harm to what we have built. We need to stand up and get involved if only to be educated on the truth and what it means to be good, decent, and morally right. Not according to any one religion or set of values, but to us as human beings. We all know deep inside what is right or wrong and we can’t be willing to sway on that even a little.
As Americans we are vigilant and determined, honest and brave, we are adventure seekers and people who truly have an intent to see justice for all carried out. Now is the time, more than ever, to band together and to join forces in pushing against hate and unfairness and those with dark intentions. We know who they are, these people no longer hide in the shadows but instead carry out their dirty work in public for everyone to see. They are more sly than previously, when we could pretend they didn’t exist because we didn’t know them or see them. These predators of our values are now more dangerous than ever before because they act without conscience and brazenly cast doubt and actively work to undermine the truth in plain sight, under the cover of some ulterior justice. We need to remain alert and aware of the schemes that are no longer reserved for some obscure snake oil salesman, but from people who seemingly represent those we should know and trust. Our liberty and justice for what is right and what is correct in this world are at stake and we simply can’t pretend it isn’t a threat just because it doesn’t come armed, because these people are in fact locked and loaded with something much more powerful than any weapon- the ability to drive a wedge in our democracy. But we can’t just let them in, we can’t pay attention or give value to anything set on the path for destruction. What we represent is too important, it’s too fragile and too vulnerable when it comes to forces of evil. But the reality is we have faced these challenges before. The threat may be different, and the past opponents were possibly more visibly evil, but what these current threats represent is exactly the same- divide and conquer, which is terrorism 101.
The next move is ours. Our path forward isn’t always well lit, but it is clear. If we don’t head off these threats to our democracy, we all lose. We all suffer the consequences of a divided society that can’t seem to function according to its core beliefs and values. No matter how the fire gets stoked, it is up to us to keep it extinguished and remained united in the things we hold so dear to our hearts, and top on that list is the ability to remain free. Free of hate, free of inequality, free of injustice, and most importantly free of misleading forces who attempt to alter our reality for their own selfish benefits.
That’s right America, the truth does hurt. The truth about where we have found ourselves is counter-intuitive to all that we stand for and it is only us ourselves who can course-correct back to where we know we need to be. The challenge is not monumental, but the climb is steep. Luckily, we are prepared for the journey with the endurance of a warrior, the heart of a hopeless romantic, the tenacity of a hero, and the soul of a believer.