May 29, 2012
For a nation that holds truth in such high regard, we are often lackadaisical about seeking it. Disagree? Be honest, when was the last time you sought the truth in a difficult personal matter rather than simply looking for a way to move on? Likewise, when was the last time you felt you got the truth on a matter of national importance? Get the point?
Possibly, we regard pursuit of the truth as an esoteric journey better left to philosophers or theologians. We may see the truth as too elusive to be found by our amateur searching, so we give up. We may argue that truth is a thing of the courts and of science, far too impractical for everyday life. As important as we make truth in the abstract, we seem to default by habit to moving on without much deep contemplation of it.
Yet, there is a practical value to the truth. No problem is really solvable unless we are able to get to the truth of the matter. Solutions applied without a clear and true understanding often end up being fatally flawed, short-sighted Band-Aids. Lacking a basis in truth, these symptom-driven cures often end badly—usually with a return in force of the initial problem. Unfortunately, Haiti is a living exhibition of this phenomenon.
A rare and positive example of seeking the truth of the matter is Michelle Obama’s work on childhood obesity. I applaud the First Lady for helping us to take a clear look at our national weight problem. In the past, many pundits have extolled more exercise and better diets for a healthier nation, but these advocates stopped short of stating the absolute truth. Putting the word obesity and children in the same sentence finally woke us up to the heavy reality—we are not just a fat nation, we are an obese nation. If only our President and the Congressional leadership could take a page from her playbook to solve our bulging financial problems.