Yesterday I pondered a saying I’d read, that the truth of a person lies in her secrets. I wasn’t, and still am not, convinced of the truth of that particular sentiment. For one thing, I think we are more than whatever secrets we might have, and for another, I’m not sure if we ever can know the truth of a person, whether our self or someone else.
I do know that what we secretly value tells us more about us than our secrets. For many of us, our secret values are the same as our overt values, the results of which anyone can see. In my case, this blog attests to my valuing truth, honesty, integrity, good writing, friendship, home.
For others, the values they brag about are at odds with what they secretly value. Some politicians are a good example of this. They are revered for their public service, and in fact see themselves as public servants, when what they secretly value is the power and money that accrue to them for what is so euphemistically called “service.” They do serve their constituents to the point where they can keep getting elected, but more than that, they serve those who can bring them the wealth and power they want. Public service? Baloney! If all public service were so lucrative, making these self-serving “servants” millions over the course of their tenure, we all we would be out serving the public. (The definition of “public service,” according to the Cambridge dictionary is “something necessary that is done or provided for the public without trying to make a profit,” which is the opposite of people earning millions as so-called public servants.)
The truth of us might also lie in how we view ourselves, whether that view is true or not. Again, in the example of some politicians, despite the money and power they crave and do all they can to garner more of each, they might truly see themselves — and cherish that view of themselves — as public servants, doing all they can to better the world. That what they are doing might be actually be worsening the world is ignored by even their inner voice because it does not fit with their cherished view of themselves.
All of this, of course, comes down to one of my original points in the first paragraph, that perhaps we can never know the truth of a person. Nor do I suppose it matters, except in the case of a writer constructing a character for a novel. Other than that, we deal with one another — and ourselves — the best as we can despite whatever the truth of us might be.
What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?
A fun book for not-so-fun times.
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