Give it the right name

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Here I go again, even though I have been told time and again that it is not worthwhile to strain myself to tell the truth to people who habitually discount everything I tell them. However, the teacher in me has taught me that it is my duty to turn the public’s eyes to the light; for the public I firmly trust, are not passive recipients of knowledge, but can and do grasp the truth for themselves. With so many politicians, bankers, credit managers, previous prime ministers and industry captains either being trapped in lies or just plain liars, there is no wonder the public can’t distinguish between truth and lies.

Reflecting upon relationships for which certain adjectives are associated to individual names, thus perpetuating the tag with some truth, I first was drawn to why our MP Guy Lauzon was labelled “Super Guy.” I know that originally it was because coming from the origins of the Reform Party to the Progressive Conservatives, Mr. Lauzon toppled Liberal Bob Kilger, who eventually rebounded in the City of Cornwall’s mayor’s chair. But that was then and today I reason that Super Guy should be referred to as Mighty Mouse for his ability to go from one evening event to another at lightning speed all the while shaking hands, kissing babies and partaking but a bit or two from each stop and never, ever staying long enough for dessert, which I believe is amazing.

Someone once wrote “Familiarity breeds contempt.” But just how accurate is that statement? And if so, why? I’ve come to the verdict that the reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it. The search for truth, honesty, and fair play is an ongoing task in today’s society, for we permit other characteristic faults on an individual, organization and government to cloud our image. For example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who might or might not have many characteristics in common with some of our modern politicians, wrote in The Social Contract (1762), “Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains...” with the cry of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”—all contributed to the French bloody revolution. Rousseau’s central concept of a social contract was that there exist an unstated reciprocal obligation between the people and their government. Such a concept is still vital today and one that each citizen should hold their elected official to. It is interesting to note that such an intelligent and futuristic man had the morals of an alley cat, having a multitude of lovers most of which were married. Other than this character defect, I would consider Rousseau to have yet another major character fault in that he judged all men to himself, and not all individuals are alley cats. However, it’s Rousseau’s love of knowledge which I respect most, and I can’t say that of most individuals, for it is my observation that the public generally would rather be told a lie or two rather that figure things out for themselves. The desire to seek for oneself understanding of what the truth might be and in so doing, discover themselves, seems to most just too difficult, so they leave it to others. Given disaster, be it personal, local or national, one will hear these immortal words: “Night doesn’t last always; day has got to break some time or other. Every silver lining has a cloud behind it, as the poet says.” For most of those remarks cheer people up but not me, for I never could see any meaning to it. Everybody uses it, though, and everybody gets comfort out of it.

The economy is in the dump and the money dished out to the car industries was a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. The harmonization of provincial-federal taxes could not have come at a worse time and is a dense move reflecting little sensitivity to the real world. Placing friends, relatives, family on any government payroll is not only a dense move but also unethical. Making deals with China as they kill and incarcerate individuals on all counts of human rights violations is not only dense and unethical but also criminal in that it sacrifices lives for luxuries. How about politicians, who, during a campaign solicit our vote and appear to act responsibly and critical of the system, promise to make it right just to get elected and then once elected discover they’ve lost their moral courage? Finding more ways to spend money on military equipment than goes to public education is not only criminal but borders on the line of a national disgrace. I’m rather sure you have your list, but the one that really cuts the mustard for me as the biggest dense action, even if I voted for these people, is that it seems I’m the only one calling their bluff. You see, I find it extremely curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare. I encourage you to speak up, know your time. Remember in doing so this old saying: “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

Organizations: Reform Party, Progressive Conservatives

Geographic location: Cornwall, China

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