Power of the Truth

By | November 22, 2022

[November 22, 2022]  The ancient sages of the past gave us some darn good advice, and that is, “find your own words.”  And, if those are truthful words, then there is nothing that can stop you.  The power of the truth rings throughout all cultures and at all times.

Are you a sovereign individual?  Or not?  If you are, and I believe so based on my experiences, then you have a specific power; the power of your convictions and truth and your ability to communicate it.  That is what sets your being straight.  If you have any sense, you are seeking truth.

Truth is the best reflection you can manage of reality (imperfect because you are not perfect).  And what could be better than having truth on your side?  And what is going to stand in your way if you have reality on your side?  Lies?  No!  That is not how life works.

If you have someone you love, for example, your child, and you are trying to raise them decently, you don’t tell them that the best way to be successful in life is to be the most brilliant and best-disguised liar possible.   No one does that.

Why not?  If we believed in falsehoods, that would be the right thing to teach, but you don’t; you teach your children to tell the truth, even if it is painful.  We teach children to tell the truth because we believe in the power of the truth.

There is an exciting scene in Revelations in the Bible (20:11-15).  In it, Christ comes back to earth and is not the merciful savior of the gospels.  He’s the judge.  And there is a reason for that; if you have an ideal – and no matter what we think Christ is, he is an ideal – then the ideal is a judge.

The ideal judges you.  In Revelations, Christ comes back as a judge with a sword in his mouth (19:15) to judge the saved and the damned.  And here is what is very interesting.  Christ saves his worst contempt and uses contemptuous language, not if you are a terrible person, but if you are the one who sits on the fence.  You want to play it both ways (e.g., I’ll lie when it’s convenient to me and tell the truth that way too).  This places you in the category of the damned.  Because that is cowardice.

If you believe in the truth, you put yourself on the line for the truth but don’t play the two sides against the middle because there is nothing in that but self-serving at the cost of yourself and the cost of everyone else.  You have to think about your relationship to the truth.  There isn’t anything more important than that.

Courage.  It is an essential part of trust.  Most people who trust are naïve.  Naïve is not a virtue; it’s a fault.  If you are naïve and you run into someone evil, that evil might do you severe damage that you may never recover.  If you’re not naïve, that means you’ve been burned once or several times.  And once you’ve been burned, it’s hard to trust because you fear being betrayed, and that can make you cynical (although that is an improvement over naïve).

The real question here is, how do you get over this conundrum?  This is a crucial thing to know.  You trust people because you are courageous.  The same reason you are grateful; it’s a mark of courage and commitment.

There is a risk in trusting others.  Trust is the trait upon which our lives with others are based.  The evidence for this is quite strong.  There is no other natural resource than trust.  And, for trust, you need courage, not naivety.  To do so means you overcome your cynicism so that you trust.

Ask yourself, if you don’t trust your institutions like marriage, family, community, government, culture, and such, then what?  They are our institutions; if we don’t like them, do something about them.  Join them; they are your institutions.  Work to make improvements in them diligently.  Have your say.  Do your homework.  Speak your mind.  That is how you can have more effect than you could ever imagine.

If you are cynical about those institutions, then look in the mirror because the corruption of those institutions is a direct reflection of your inability to get your act together.  That’s what it means to be a sovereign part of your community.  It’s not someone else; it’s you!

————–

Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

31 thoughts on “Power of the Truth

  1. Veronica Stillman

    and the truth matters and it matters a great deal. If you are in the military, you lie, you die (or your buddies die). Nothing like the truth setting you free.

    Reply
  2. Plato

    There is nothing so delightful as the hearing, or the speaking of truth. For this reason, there is no conversation so agreeable as that of the man of integrity, who hears without any intention to betray, and speaks without any intention to deceive.

    Reply
  3. Happy Dog

    Wonderful article from the mind of a great person and combat military leader.

    Reply
    1. Boys Treasure

      Happy Thanksgiving to all here. Happy Dog, spot-on comment. ✔️

      Reply
  4. Edward G.

    The truth is a judge and a harsh judge. Aim high in your life and do not take your eye off the ball.

    Reply
  5. Frank Graham

    Folks just don’t know or understand the depth of the truth and what it can do to enhance our courage and make you free. We are too often encouraged to lie, cheat, and steal. I know u, Gen. S., are adamantly opposed to telling of lies. That is the way all leaders should be.

    Reply
    1. Billy Kenningston

      And exactly why this blog ‘speaks’ to me so forcefully. Tell the truth. Adopt all the responsibility you can, even if you bend under the strain. For that is how you live well, live free, and live for others. That is the very definition of the hero, the hero with flaws and struggles. That is the kind of person we all want to be even if we have convinced ourselves otherwise. We are judged all the time. Never ever forget that important thought, no matter what.

      Reply
        1. Cat A Miss

          Long long ago, we were taught to never lie, cheat, or steal. Today, in public schools now kids are taught that doing so is okay as long as you support the progressive, anti-family and anit-American goal of the neo-Marxists. They may not call it Marxism but it surely is without a doubt.

          Reply
  6. Doug Smith

    I would hope that if I am ever in a situation of life and death, or risk to bodily injury, that those with me tell the truth. I don’t like being lied to regardless of the consequences. That is, I believe, the way all humans are. Except those who are cowards.

    Reply
    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Right, and there are plenty of cowards out there. Sometimes I think they are the majority. Maybe that is why they need good leadership from those who can tell the truth.

      Reply
  7. USA Patriot II

    Great article Gen. Satterfield. I would recommend, however difficult it may be, that you write a longer article on the benefits of telling the truth and maybe make it into a book. You could use many of the examples of your military service as examples.

    Reply
    1. Seventy Six Wife

      I will put forward the idea that our emphasis on telling the truth is one of the reasons the West in general and America specifically has been so successful.

      Reply
  8. Aussie

    Excellent article, this morning. Enjoyed it while having my cup of coffee and with my dog sitting at my feet. Just wonderful. Cheers!

    Reply
  9. Julia

    “There is a risk in trusting others. Trust is the trait upon which our lives with others are based. The evidence for this is quite strong. There is no other natural resource than trust. And, for trust, you need courage, not naivety. To do so means you overcome your cynicism so that you trust.” Gen. Satterfield speaks.
    —– and I will add that if you’ve not got a copy of Gen. S’s latest book “55 Rules for a Good Life,” I highly recommend you do so right now! You will be better for it.

    Reply
  10. Max Foster

    Gen. Satterfield regularly tells us about the importance of the truth. I think that is not how most of us see it. We tell the truth or lie whenever each of them benefits us. And, we are encouraged to lie. And lie telling is a “good” virtue according to political ‘progressives.’ The end justifies the means. That is a terrible way to look at life. Only by telling the truth can you become truly free. Thought experiment – only tell the truth for one week and look at your life after you’ve done so.

    Reply
      1. Guns are Us

        You would think this is common sense but NO. We have to be taught the advantages of the truth. The ordinary soldier on the battlefield knows this to be the way to survive. Lie and you die. 👀

        Reply
    1. Fred Weber

      Just another confirmation of why I read Gen. Satterfield’s blog every day. I might be new at it but I also find every article refreshing and educational. Also, ha ha ha, entertaining a bit too.

      Reply
        1. Mounted Jonny

          Got mine. ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
          “55 Rules for a Good Life”
          Highly recommended.
          Gen. Doulas Satterfield

          Reply

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