Sunday, September 08, 2013

Is it the truth?

The Invocation schedule got shifted around and so they asked me to do another one sooner than normal.  This is a subject I've been thinking about for a while; seemed like it would be a good time to develop the idea.  Our guest speaker on the the day I'll deliver the invocation is Karen Crotchfelt, President & Publisher, Star Media.  A newspaper attempts to deliver the truth every day - or should.

Rotary Invocation
September 10, 2013

Is it the Truth?  When we were children we were taught to always tell the truth.  The truth must have been simpler then.  As if the choice between telling the truth and telling a lie was a task suited to the naivet√© of a child.  The bible doesn’t assume the reader is much more sophisticated and it simply commands us not to lie.  The truth is apparently far more difficult to tell.

The truth is subject to interpretation.  That much is obvious.  How can so many news outlets tell the truth but tell different stories?  So the truth is actually a product of facts and perspective.  What happens when even the facts are in doubt?  The truth becomes a very flexible thing indeed.

Rotary relationships depend on the truth.  And we ask ourselves at every meeting will the things we think, say and do be guided by it.  The success of our club depends on it.  And our hundred year legacy would only be possible because of it.

But now our nation is challenged to know the truth about so many issues.  The War in Syria, Equality of Opportunity, Privacy of Personal Information, Climate Science, Economic Policy.  The sides in these debates hold the truth as their keystone asset.  But how can that be?  How can we know the truth?  Knowing the truth must be much harder than we were led to believe.  Maybe we were lied to about the truth?

Will the truth set you free?  Maybe.  Will the truth lead to world peace?  Probably not.  There are just too many versions of it.  The most we can hope for is that men and women of good will can move beyond the belief that only their truth matters and constantly ask the question: Is it the truth? even of their own beliefs.  That is why the question bears repeating.