A good friend asked me if I believe truth and peace can co-exist. Another good friend asked me about what he termed, social courage. In response, I thought I would humbly offer the following ideas in the hope that I can help others reconcile this important distinction.
These two parts of me are in conflict as they are for most of us.
I am comfortable as a peace-making friend to all. But the other part of me, the thinking person and truth-teller seems even more authentic to me. If I ignore truth for the sake of peace and expediency I feel like I am selling out my integrity, and that creates a lot of anxiety. So, that side usually wins. It is not so much social courage but the desire to be congruent with my values in order to avoid depression. I understand that this can be a balancing act and I strive for that balance, but sometimes there is just no way not to lose relationships or jobs. I have lost both. Can truth and peace co-exist? My view is no, not always.
In this sense Christ is my role model:
He said to the apostles, “When you travel, don’t take a walking stick. Also, don’t carry a bag, food, or money. Take for your trip only the clothes you are wearing. When you go into a house, stay there until it is time to leave. If the people in the town will not welcome you, go outside the town and shake their dust off of your feet. This will be a warning to them.”
In my view, one does not have to be a Christian to embrace the attitude above. It is profound wisdom that transcends specific faith.
I also subscribe to this thought that I have hanging on my wall in front of me, “Leave everything a little better than you found it”.
In our compliance and feel good culture, even religious people are watering down their messages to make everybody feel good. Therapists and politicians certainly do. I’ve heard from many pastors who are frustrated about this facet of modern life, which does little to improve humanity but keeps people wandering along. I want to appeal to folks and meet them where they are, or where they are capable of hearing me (and also want to be open to their perspectives) but not if it means avoiding reality.
These recent revelations regarding the abuse of power by the Obama forces in Washington say to me that we have turned the corner as a people. Anyone that does not stand up to reject this obvious tyranny is either complicit or an enabler. Anyone who loves the country and cares for humanity must get in the game now. We are at a zero sum game. This is the tipping point.
So, that is what I believe. Truth is a revolutionary act.
“Loyalty to the President is good but loyalty to truth, integrity, and the country is better” – Charles Krauthammer
“Truth is treason in the empire of lies” – Ron Paul