After she did her dance for King Herod, Salome asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter because her mother, Herodias, who was married to Herod, hated John the Baptist. Herod had killed Herodias’ husband in order to marry her. John the Baptist spoke the truth against such evil and lost his life for telling the truth.
Who wants your head on a platter?
What truth is worth your head? What truth is worth your life?
There are two types of people in the world we despise. The first are people who can never be trusted to tell the truth. The second are people who can only be trusted to tell the truth.
We all know people who have trouble telling the truth. Is there anyone who doesn’t know someone for whom a lie is just a more convenient interpretation of reality? The great psychoanalyst Carl Jung once noted that there were only two kinds of people he could not “cure”: schizophrenics and compulsive liars. Both create alternative realities.
The second kind of person we cannot bear are those who DO tell the truth. We can’t tolerate them because they see right through our daily disguises, our fake facades. They are not impressed by all our flamboyant “toys,” or our flush bank accounts, or the degrees we hold, or the opinions of others. We don’t like them because the truth they reveal can be uncomfortable, awkward, harsh and unyielding. A God Alert
It’s hard to know which of these two kinds of people offends our sensibilities more: the liar or the truth-teller.
Can you remember the first time you got in trouble for telling the truth? Leonard Sweet remembers his first time: He was four or five years old. One of his aunts was visiting his house, and she asked his mother why his brothers and he didn’t come over more to visit them and play? Leonard chimed in, “I know the answer to that . . . Because my mother says your house is dirty.”
Eventually we learn that while we should always tell the truth, we don’t always have to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Some call this the art of the “white lie,” the polite under-played put-off.
But whatever you call it, most of us gradually master the complex socialization process that enables us to keep what we’re thinking to ourselves. Those who fail to learn this social side-step are likely to find employment opportunities limited, friends in short supply, and relationships with the opposite sex unexpectedly brief.
Thanks to Leonard Sweet for his sharing.
Who bothers you more, the liar or the truth-teller? Why is this?