Bird Droppings October 6, 2010
What if Truth prevailed
I started my morning as I do so many mornings walking out into the stillness of the hour but today with a chill in the air all was silent. Air conditioners busy through one of the hottest summers I have lived in Georgia now nearly forty years were totally silent. Crickets and tree frogs rely on ambient temperature and it was a bit too chilly for them. So I was standing and listening to truth spill from the darkness I Have found nature does not lie. Perhaps this is why in Native American culture nature was revered as it was and is. Silence has a peace about until a horned owl called and then another answered a good ways off. As I pulled out today blocked in I pulled across the grass on my super secret escape route. As I turned my headlights to the back of the house several deer were picking through the persimmons and passion flower fruit.
Truth was a significant factor in the lives of aboriginal peoples throughout the world and perhaps why they have been so vulnerable to deceit. Survival depended on truth on came and it was not until the lies of modern man crept in that corruption and deceit became words of warning. As I sit thinking in my class room at the high school here in the dark of morning I wonder was it the intrusion of the Europeans that brought distrust to this new land. Watching politicians debate and argue points it is very easy to say yes. We proceeded back in the day writing laws to hold dear those truths we had to create stripping away the reality that was there. The truths that had governed a land for thousands of years and maintained equilibrium were no longer needed since exceptions had to be made.
That all was sacred soon became only a history lesson and each rock, tree, person and each breath of air we breathed that had been sacred somewhere in translation and understanding we lost that. We seemed to in our hurried efforts to want more land, gold, things and more of everything to have lost the truth. I wonder as I sit and think could we ever again attain that place where all is sacred?
I spent much of the morning yesterday listening to a student lie and wondering why the lies were being told even offering that I knew the stories were not true and still they continued. I knew they were lies. I wonder how we as a society became this way reading today’s headlines of a Congressmen who leaves office because of corruption and then runs for Governor of Georgia. Others knew and were quiet as long as he resigned his congressional seat.
We so often get caught up in our own insecurities and own lies. A good friend and professor recently used an illustration of how often someone will spout their goodness and yet be not be really who they say they are. Daily this has happened with politicians and other authority figures we seem to have no truth left in us. I recommended a book to a friend about Chief Joseph, it happened to be one of Kent Nerburn’s books an author I admire and enjoy reading. It is a history so to say of the Nez Perce and Chief Joseph and is rather intriguing.
“I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth.” Chief Joseph, Nez Perce, 1877
Considered one of the great leaders of the 1800’s Chief Joseph’s surrender speech has been quoted by many. But I sit here thinking over a hundred years ago this great man had insight into something that each of us are born with and then bastardize that concept of truth. We bend shape mold our reality to what suits us. I was talking with a student yesterday about reality. Question one what is reality? Is it like the old adage of from high school physics? Is there sound if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it? My student asked what about sound you here that aren’t vibrations ringing in the ears and voices and such. Coming from someone who listens to crickets all day long this was a deep discussion. Immediately most respond well they are not real.
Perception becomes an issue and can we truly define what reality is and what is not sort of a vote and democracy in an ongoing sort of way. One of my favorite scenes from the movie, A brilliant mind, is where Dr. James Nash asks a student if the bearer of the news of his Nobel Prize can be seen by her. When she says yes he extends his hand. Reality is a fragile thing and yet our reality is shaped daily by misleading and misinformation provided to confound and bewilder. The media and advertising constantly barrage us with what they want us to see and hear. Inflated gas prices and inflated profits for oil companies never seem to be in the same paragraph. Rising medical costs and greatly increased profits not for doctors but for medical insurance companies never seem to be mentioned at the same time.
Recently an article showed insurance company CEO’s compensations literally nothing to do with health care yet significantly increasing the cost of health insurance. There are billions of dollars in compensation to CEO’s not to sick babies or the elderly. But we need to reduce Medicaid and Medicare payments never CEO’s compensation or oil companies profits, truth is an elusive beast.
“But it does not require many words to speak the truth.” Chief Joseph
We elect politicians based on words however what if we voted really on deeds and performance? What if we stopped electing front men for big business and elected truthful people? There would be far fewer words and who knows maybe even peace. So for today please keep all in harms way on your minds and in your hearts.