Tag Archives: truth

The Daily Prompt & Truth And Tact

Daily Prompt: Careless Whisper

It happens: sometimes that filter in our head bursts and we say too much of what we’re thinking and someone gets hurt. Tell us about a time you or someone you know said something that they immediately regretted.

Often it is not what we say, but how; not just the words but also the tone. We sometimes are not as sensitive in our feelings towards others as we should be, that’s a given. Rather, we are usually more sensitive than what we need be when others speak to us. Becoming over-sensitive will stifle earnest and heartfelt conversations. Tact certainly has its place. Truth and honesty doesn’t require tact. Tact, if overused, might signal a hidden agenda beyond what is intended. It is always nice to preface our comments with kind words that may soften a landing, but it doesn’t have to be softened with honey. And we should never demand or expect tact.

For your reading pleasure today’s short story is about truth and tact. I hope you enjoy it.

 Truth And Tact

“Daddy,” little five year old Danni said. “Why don’t you just tell me there is an Easter Bunny and Santa Clause? I’ll believe you.”

“Why are you asking, Danni?”

“All the kids in my class say there is and the teacher goes along with it,” Danni said.

“Does that confuse you?”

“The older kids don’t believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause and I really know they aren’t real so why do the parents of my friends and the teacher go along with something that’s not real?”

“It’s hard to know what their reasons are. Sometimes older people like parents and teachers don’t see any harm for a child to believe there are fairies, trolls, witches, Easter Bunnies, and Santa Clauses.”

“Why don’t you?” Danni said.

“When you get older you will come to me and your mother with some really tough questions. I don’t want you to ever think that the person giving you the answers was the same person who lied to you about the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.”

“But what if they ask me, what should I tell them?” Danni said. “If I tell them the truth they might never believe their parents and teachers again.”

“That’s one of those tough questions. Always be honest. But if they ask and ask and ask tell them to ask their parents. That’s called ‘tact.’”

“So ‘tact’ is avoiding a fight?” Danni said.

“Yes,”

“Is that something I can tell my friends about?’ Danni said.

“Sure.”

“But I should still be careful, right?” Danni said.

“Yes, Danni, truth sometimes comes with some problems. And there will be times that not even tact will make it easier.”

“I’m glad you’re telling me these things now,” Danni said.

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Short Stories

White Lies Are Whitewash 

Daily Prompt: Pants on Fire

What was the last lie you told? Why did you tell it?

Whitewash eventually washes away, but the truth eventually comes through.

Whitewash eventually washes away, but the truth eventually comes through.

In the most technical sense writers of fiction lie. Even though a story may be based on actual events, those events are rearranged and massaged to fit a theme or disguise the real story or characters. It’s called poetic license or lying.

When thinking of all the terrible character flaws and sins that can be committed lying stands at the very top of the heap. It is used to cover other nefarious misdeeds as well.

It seems modern-day social moralists have broken lies down into degrees; bold face lies, little white lies, whoppers, stories, pulling one’s leg, and truth bending (there are many more). Some seem harmless.

Certainly there is a clear difference between telling a story (something with a moral parity) and being lighthearted or actually trying to deceive. There is always caution because the lines can and sometimes do become blurred.

Truth is perhaps the most beautiful of all things. It is to that point that we are all moving. We don’t like being given wrong directions, especially purposely.

Modern day moralists have proclaimed there is no absolute truth. It is up to each one to seek his own truth. “Your truth may be different than mine.”

Everything around us is made up of truth. Physical laws govern our existence and daily lives. An object falling from the sky follows an exact formula that does not deviate. My truth does not differ from others’. Objects transform, ignite, and change due to predetermined laws. They are predictable and we depend on the honesty of nature everyday.

It is interesting how much stock the Bible puts on telling the truth. Of all created things humans are the only ones who change the course of human events by their ability to fabricate and alter facts and truth.

The devastation of a lie is born out by the fact that it was a lie that caused mankind’s fall from God’s favor. Satan lied to Eve. “You will not die,” he said. Eve made a decision based on false information fed to her by Satan. It is more than a story with a moral parity, but if one were to be gleaned it would be that people make decisions that may result in life or death based on what one says.

A screw is said to be made to a particular specification when in fact it is not. It gives way and an engine to a passenger jet malfunctions.

The Bible places great emphasis on truth and honesty. It says at John 8:44 “YOU are from YOUR father the Devil, and YOU wish to do the desires of YOUR father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of [the lie].” Nearly every wicked deed comes from the deception of others or self. Not only is it imperative to be honest and not lie to others, but the same holds true when dealing with ourselves.

Trust and honesty are two great moral barometers to a person’s character. Work hard at achieving it.

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Is There A Lesson Learned From The Zimmerman Trial

Daily Prompt: A House Divided

Pick a divisive issue currently in the news. Write a two-part post in which you take on two personas and approach the topic from both sides.

With interest I watched the trial of George Zimmerman, the man in Florida who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. A tragedy beyond measure, a person dead and a person who thought he was going to die.

As far as the trial was concerned there was little doubt of guilt or innocence when it came to applying the law. The right decision rendered.

There are deeper and more troubling issues that came to light during this episode. The most egregious was media coverage and bias. Immediately one comes to mind, the one NBC is being sued over. It concerns the linchpin of the prosecutions assertion, Zimmerman racially profiled Martin.

NBC’s tape was edited. On their tape Zimmerman seems eager to key-in on the fact Martin was black. On the tape without the editing the dispatcher asked if he was white, Hispanic, or black. In other words it was the dispatcher who prompted Zimmerman to key-in on the ethnicity of Martin.

This is only one example of dozens.

Mr. Zimmerman followed Mr. Martin because he displayed strange behavior while returning to his father’s girlfriend’s apartment. The behavior was not consistent with a kid hurrying home to watch the NBA all-star game with ice tea and Skittles. He was peering into homes as if to case them for people at home or not. The area had been plagued by break-ins in the past. Mr. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch captain. He was acting in the best interest of the community. The media had used the phrase when characterizing Zimmerman as a want-to-be cop to the point of regurgitation. None of the evidence pointed to that and if it did, isn’t that a good thing?

Evidence showed that Zimmerman was on his way back to his truck and lost sight of Martin. Martin ran away. Again indicating the presence of some sort of guilt. (Indeed he may have been afraid, but he wasn’t, the phone conversation he was having at the time proves the opposite.) Zimmerman had no idea where Martin was when walking back to his truck. Martin, out of hiding, jumped Zimmerman.

Some statements suggested Zimmerman was attacked by Martin because it was thought that Zimmerman was a homosexual.

The flipside of the issue is; yeah, that’s all true.

I’m not trying to be insensitive or flip. Someone is dead. Someone was attacked. Neither should have happened.

One thing about this whole debacle is that in the amount of time the residence heard something going on, no one flipped on a light or came to the aid of the person yelling for help. It is strangely reminiscent of decades ago when a young woman, Kitty Genovesse, in New York City was being stabbed to death and no one did anything.

Likely the worst thing that may have happened, even in the mind of Zimmerman, when he first saw Martin would have been that an apartment would have been found with no one home. Martin would have broke in and got away as a thief. That is not worth a person’s life.

If Zimmerman would have only stayed in his vehicle. If Martin would have only stayed home. Was it the gun (he had a permit for) that gave Zimmerman the cushion of confidence to follow Marin?

It was nearly fifty years ago when the screams of Kitty Genovesse went unanswered. Little has changed.

Think about this; Zimmerman lived in and served as a neighborhood watch for a ‘gated’ community. He lived in and with a community characterized by fear and paranoia; not manufactured, but real.

Sadly, black teen deaths occur in large U. S. cities with more frequency than deaths in Afghanistan. In spite of all the rhetoric to the contrary that is the more important issue.

While politicians, social engineers, and community organizers have all promised that society will become kinder, safer, and more tolerant the Bible has steadfastly said it will not. (2nd Timothy 3:1-5) Which one does the evidence point to as being trustworthy and accurate?

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My Computer Is Very Fragile And Emotional

Angry-computer[1]Daily Prompt: Life After Blogs

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

So here I am trying to imagine what life would be like without my computer.

I’m thinking back to a thousand years ago; a guy runs into a small village. He’s excited. He tells of their Army’s victory in a distant land and many young village men will return as heroes. It seems in his excitement he exaggerated a bit. Many lives were lost in the victory and the victory was really a truce.

Soon people saw the need for a Town Crier who could read factual reports. It was later discovered he could read in such a way as to put emphasis on what he found appealing.

Community bulletin boards and newspapers would replace Town Criers. Yet, the emotion, prejudice, and disposition of an editor, publisher, or reporter could shade what was printed.

Emotions, no matter what, come into play.

The world in the past 175 years has gone from the telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and the internet. Information speeds to our home in nanoseconds and yet it is no better than the emotion of the guy who ran into the medieval village to report a distant war.

We are still ruled and guided by the same emotions of a thousand, two thousand, three thousand years ago. The computer should not change who we are. It should tell us who we are.

The last few months I have followed the George Zimmerman trial. The media and special interest groups did much to distort or hide facts. Everything was revealed in open court. Evidence, testimony, and arguments were presented. A verdict was reached. Yet emotions prevail.

It’s caused me to do some extra research and thinking on my own.

I’ve come to this conclusion, news is best reported by those who were there, after a long walk home. Otherwise it is fueled with emotions and inaccuracies. Likely what happens a month ago and a thousand miles away will have little or no effect on anyone.

Much of our life is ruled by our own emotions, so we need to be careful not to be led by another person’s emotions.

We, ourselves, need to slow down before we hit “send” or “enter.”

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Why Do Writers Write And Photographers Photograph?

images[1]Daily Prompt: Tables Turned

Are as comfortable in front of a camera as behind one? Being written about, as well as writing?

This Daily Prompt is interesting because it gets to the root of why writers write and photographers photograph.

Both manipulate reality. They see within themselves and recognize their inability to effect reality. They create their own world.

Nature is always on the move. It is free-flowing and fluid. The photographer freezes it. If that’s not a manipulation of reality, I don’t know what is? They wait for the light, the season, the reflections, shadows, and subjects to be perfectly aligned and capture unreality. Sorry photographers, as much as I enjoy your work, you’re nothing more than the same hucksters who traveled with carnival side shows to take amusing pictures of country bumpkins. Yet, the staging of photographs is really not so much manipulation as it is trying to catch all the truth on one frame. Our imagination should, thus, make it flowing, fluid, and come to life. Okay, you’re not hucksters.

Creative writers stage everything. Sure they say they allow the characters to take over, but whose really in charge? Everyone of us has an agenda, to manipulate the truth, to create a world where everything makes sense – our sense. And try to convince everyone their (my) world is best.

That said, I will assume photographers and writers generally don’t mind being photographed or written about because it is always a distortion of the truth. They know how it works. Except for critiques most generally it is flattering.

This all seems a bit abysmal so let me redress. Many photographers and writers are idealists. They are seekers of truth. If they, for a moment, freeze-frame something or set it to words on a page for others to see and read, people will some how be lifted to a more bold and higher truth. They (the reader) may perhaps hold the same idealism and goodness the photographer or writer wants for the world. That makes photography and writing, if used correctly, a noble calling – one of immense responsibility.

I have seen pictures of Niagara Falls and in contrast sat on the banks of small streams (too small to have a name) and watched water flow lazily over pebbles. The small streams have more power and truth than the photograph. I have written the best words, and sentences I could imagine and have read the great writers of our time and times past, but none compare with these simple words, “Your word is truth…” (John 17:17)

The world started with only six creative ideas, everything beyond that is just a rearrangement of the facts.

Other bloggers table issues:

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    22. Comfort in Discomfort | Iam Who Iam
    23. Daily Prompt: Tables Turned | Chicomallorca’s Blog
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Is is Is

Some words are nothing more than floozies, all dressed up and no place to go.

Some words are nothing more than floozies, all dressed up and no place to go.

Daily Prompt: Morphing

Language evolves. The meaning of a word can shift over time as we use it differently — think of “cool,” “heavy,” or even “literally.”

Today, give a word an evolutionary push: give a common word a new meaning, explain it to us, and use it in the title of your post.

We depend of words. Words bind human society and endeavors together. They are precious and yet the meanings change. The meanings are changed by people who don’t want to live a life of truth; “It depends on what the meaning of is is.”

When a person starts a statement with, “Honestly…” I know it’s going to be a lie. They have already said that everything preceding “Honestly” is suspect and now the truth. “Honestly” has become a useless word. It has been used so often by liars it has been cheapened to the point an honest man can’t use it anymore. It’s like at one time only tough guys wore tattoos. Now every punk with a credit card and deflated self worth has one. The tough guys don’t have them anymore. The want-a-be has saturated the market.

When a person starts a sentence with “Basically…” it means the same as “Honestly.” They are telling me the truth is somewhere in what is said, but you have to find it for yourself. When I hear the word “Basically” I think, “Oh crap, I got to do some digging.”

“Basically, what you have here is a good car.” That means a whole lot of other stuff is wrong with it. Six months and six thousand dollars later you come to find out that “basically” meant the tires were new.

The more one writes the more they experience the power of words, either to convey truth or deceive. Truth is conveyed in straightforward unambiguous words. Lies are prefaced with qualifiers and meaningless ramblings. They are like cheap floozies drenched in a quart of two-dollar perfume.

While I’m at it I get a little irritated with the WordPress spellcheck. They make me feel like I’m a misogynist, racists, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, crude, insensitive, chauvinistic pig with their biased language police alert.  Yeah, I meant floozies!

More floozies:

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“You Can’t Handle The Truth!”

"You want the truth! Well here's the truth, there is no Tooth Fairy, Santa, Clause, or Easter Bunny, ya maggot!"

“You want the truth! Well here’s the truth, there is no Tooth Fairy, Santa, Clause, or Easter Bunny, ya maggot!”

Daily Prompt: Fantasy

The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?

The court room scene in A Few Good Men is as good as drama gets. It is held together by one actor and character; Jack Nicholson playing Colonel Jessup. He’s the guy we want on the wall protecting us and our freedoms. The exchange between prosecution and witness is riveting.

“I want the truth!”

“You can’t handle the truth!”

It is a moment of truth; are there really truths that can’t be handled or accepted? If so, who gets to choose? If not, who is hiding them?

Thus who ever possesses truth has power to control reality. It is like the scene from the Wizard of Oz. The charlatan wizard is troubled by the dog, Toto. He is unable to operate his wizard machine correctly. It begins to malfunction. The wizard declares, “I have everything under control.” Those who withhold truth control and manipulate reality.

Tooth Fairies, Santa Clauses, and Easter Bunnies are lies. Think for a moment all the truths that children accept by the time they understand such stories. They have mastered a language or perhaps two. They have a basic concept of right and wrong. They can play complicated games that require planning. Some learn to read and write. They even sense when others are not feeling well and seek to comfort. It is remarkable what a child can absorb. And they can’t handle the truth?

Yet many choose to perpetuate false stories. They might reason it is a time of wonderment and innocence and makes the child feel secure. In other words, healthy. Really?

I never wanted my children raised with the idea that they could receive money for a discarded body part.

In the western world children are taught about four things they never really see; Tooth Fairies, Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, and God. Yes, they do see Santa Clause and Easter Bunny, but at every store! So parents might say, ‘well he can’t be every place at one time so that’s really one of his helpers. (Lies have a way of building.) Eventually a child figures out that Santa Clause and Easter Bunny are made-up, what logical conclusion does a child make about God?

When my oldest daughter was five my wife and I decided to stop the fairy tales of Christmas and Easter.

We told her there was no Santa Clause. She paused for a moment. “Than where did all my toys come from?”

“Mommy and Daddy bought them,” my wife said.

A big smile came over my daughter’s face. “Oh thank you, Mommy and Daddy,” and she embraced us.

I think she did quite nicely in handling the truth.

We had friends and relatives that were upset at our decision, some even had tears in their eyes. Which led me to wonder, who are the stories of a Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, and Easter Bunny really for?

More blogs about truth or consequences:

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