(To get these notions out of the way immediately, what follows may not apply to the answers to these two questions; “Does this dress make my ass look fat?” And; “Did you come?”)
So – “Tell the Truth and Fool the World.”
These seven words have for me always held in them something deep and mystical. I can not recall when or where I first heard them, but they have stayed with me for as long as I can remember. A quick google search reveals that this saying is credited to Otto Von Bismarck who originally phrased it as; “when you want to fool the world, tell the truth.” I never knew it originated with Bismarck until a minute ago when I thought to search the phrase – as I knew it.
This aphorism exists on so many levels to me. It holds so many implications far beyond just the face value of its meaning.
To me, at least, it implies that we, as humans, have in our nature an inclination to believe the big lie rather than the plain truth. It implies that we find it difficult to believe someone when he or she is being unabashedly honest with us. (Think Chauncey Gardiner in Jerzy Kosinski’s “Being There”) That we expect people to be, as a rule, less than forthright with us. Which, in turn, implies that we may now and then be less forthright with them. It also implies that telling that “little white lie” so as not to “hurt someone’s feelings” may, in any run, short or long, be of no value to them – or you.
It implies that the easiest, least complicated, path to “get along” in this life is simply to just tell the truth – your subjective truth, as you know it to be. As you believe it to be. In your answers, your opinions, your actions. It implies that one will have an easier, calmer life if uncluttered by the “games” one must play and the “stories” one must remember and have to keep straight in order to keep up the lie. Any lie, big or small.
And, perhaps, all kidding aside, it does, after all, apply to the answers to those two questions at the top. If we really think about it.
This wise aphorism also implies that a delicious secret resides within the person who lives it.
Perhaps in these seven words there exists a blueprint for happiness and peace of mind?
I know this simple and elegant truism to be the way. And yet, as much as I try to live it, too many times I fall short – and those times when I do fall short I do a disservice to the person I fail to be truthful with – and to myself.
So – Tell the truth and fool the world.
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