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Truth. Dare?

July 5, 2015
Estherville News

July 7th each year is Tell the Truth Day. With what seems to be a great increase in fraud and forgery in politics, the media, advertising, and even sometimes our relationships, it seems like a day of all truth all the time would be a great day.

Do you think there is a line between telling the truth and letting it all hang out that we should not cross? Celebrities could perhaps be open about their personal lives without making them an entire television series. Must we know all the bad acts and habits of politicians, movie stars, musicians and even televangelists? Must we see a woman in the altogether, who seems to have little reason to be in our daily consciousness at all? Regular people can over share, too, on social media or on daytime television. It's difficult to know how much of that is real and how much is staged.

In our relationships, maybe we would never invent stories from whole cloth, but we do wear a mask around even our loved ones because they don't need to know everything about us.

The journalist and filmmaker Bill Lichtenstein said, "Sunshine is the greatest disinfectant." It's a journalist's job to shine a light on corruption, cover-ups and secrecy. That sunshine produced the Watergate papers, but also more than we wanted to know about a later president's personal affairs.

The Internet has displayed the growth of celebrity coverage. Do we need to see images of certain people just because they were in movies, play sports, or give concerts in big stadiums? How much does thinking about who's dating that pop star now or who wore it best keep us from thinking about things that are more important?

A day to tell the truth and nothing but might conjure images of telling the boss or a friend or your spouse all the negative things about them that normally pop into our heads, cause a moment's annoyance, then fade away as quickly. Thoughts don't have to become words.

But words could speak life if well chosen. Most of us have no idea the impact we have on others, because it's difficult to speak the words. One way to celebrate Tell the Truth Day: reach out and tell someone how they've impacted your life, and what their words, actions, contributions, encouragement, and more have meant to you.



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