I think most all of us believe we are very truthful people and believe we only want the truth from others. But is that always true? I think we also believe that our “beliefs” are valid or we would never consider believing them. Really? One of the books in my bookcase that I like to pick up now and then is one by Anthony De Mello. Filled with short stories and parables, I find them very thought provoking. In his book titled, The Song Of The Bird, the story “ The Truth Shop” is one of my favorites. It reminds me that as much as I love the truth and are not afraid to question my beliefs, there are still plenty of times I’m not quite ready for it all—100%.
The Truth Shop
I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the name of the shop: THE TRUTH SHOP.
The saleswoman was very polite: What type of truth did I wish to purchase, partial or whole? The whole truth of course. No deceptions for me, no defenses, no rationalizations. I wanted my truth plain and unadulterated. She waved me on to another side of the store.
The salesman there pointed to the price tag. “The price is very high, sir,” he said. “What is it?” I asked, determined to get the whole truth, no matter the cost. “Your security , sir,” he answered.
I came away with a heavy heart.
I still need the safety
of my unquestioned beliefs.
What about you? I’m reminded of that movie with Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men when he shouted, “You can’t handle the truth.” Can we? Are our beliefs so precious to us that we cling to them rather than even consider questioning whether they could be proven untrue? Would we ever be willing to give up the safety and security we get by believing what we already believe—or is that too high a price to pay? Are we as honest with ourselves and others as we like to think we are? I surely don’t have the answers but I tend to think it would be SMART for more of us to realize that it is the “partial” truth that we usually prefer.