In her Harvard University commencement speech, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this about truth: “As federal chancellor, I often have to ask myself, 'Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing something because it is right? Or simply because it is possible?'” That is a question Kenyans too must resolve.
Interestingly, just like thieves do not want to be stolen from, liars expect truth from others and are irritated when others deceive them! Truth is so inevitable that even lies want it for cover. Even liars swear they are telling the truth so that they can get away with their lies.
There are leaders who – like children of the devil – are perpetual deceivers. They have workshops in the form of assistants and advisers whose mandate is to continually create new forms of deception. Deception is their oil to power them towards their ambitions. With every lie the citizens swallow or allow, these leaders affirm the citizens to be fools. Such leaders dislike anyone who would enlighten the citizens and invest heavily to maintain citizens in a blind status. They do all in their power to keep off new leaders who seem to perpetuate a form of authenticity, hence such dissuading descriptions as, “You are too good for politics.”
In President Obama’s book The Promised Land, Obama impresses as a leader who is so keen to fulfill his campaign promises even at the cost of threatening his re-election. The opposition puts obstacles on his path so that he does not achieve his promises and that way, they gain a licence to call him a liar. But Obama and his aides vow and burn the midnight oil not to give the opposition that pleasure.
Lies kill trust. A popular question this political season has been, “In whose hands is Kenya safe?” Lying hands are insecure. They can promise life but deliver death. They can praise citizens as heroes in public but mock their gullibility behind the scenes. Truth is trust’s nest. It is possible for the degree of joy in a community to rise or fall based on the truthmeter readings of their leadership.
Lies kill hope. They reverse outcomes unfavourably. When the top scoring interviewee is not the one who is hired, hope is stifled. When a candidate who has fulfilled all conditions is named publicly as the fitting candidate to run for office only for party positions to be overturned in the thick of night, hope is dashed. Lies are enemies of hope. Hopelessness makes diligence pointless. Young people trans-nighting in university in pursuit of a quality degree despair when they see others with questionable papers take their springy walk on the red carpet. Thoughts of an earned degree competing with purchased papers (and losing) weakens their ambition.
Nature hails integrity. Dark clouds tell off coming rain. Nine months tell that birth is near. Sunrise points to sunset. Night does not play hide and seek – it will reliably come! Where nature is unreliable, human tampering will most likely have something to do with it. Lies ruin and corrode reputation. A lying country is a country of conmanship. Such countries and institutions are flagged to their disadvantage. Leaders known for lies are unlikely to attract associates known for caring for their people. Such dissociation serves as an active protest against the ingenuine.
Nation to darkness and death
Lies poison future generations. Children and youth come into a community to renew it. But the nurture they receive determines whether they bring newness or become radicalised versions of existing toxicity. Those who grow in an environment where liars are rewarded are likely to sharpen their lying abilities as strategy for a bright future. Such become sure agents to lead a nation to darkness and death. A nation that is known for its deception is unlikely to receive honour.
Truth matters. When a family discovers upon the death of their father that he had another family, which they never knew about, the impact is devastating. It is tragic when an employer realises that the employee they considered most trustworthy has been looting the company. It is heartbreaking when a congregation realises that their spiritual leader is molesting the children. When people realise that the person who was shouting herself hoarse during the campaign season did not mean any word she said they feel duped.
Would you want your doctor to lie to you by giving you a wrong diagnosis and odd prescriptions to match? You expect from a doctor only the truth. Would you want a pilot to purport to have papers that he does not have? If you discovered one, you are likely to shift your loyalty to another airline. Standard parenting does not respond to the lies of children with a smile. A natural instinct tells parents to put the children on the path of truth and pray they keep it even when they are out of their hands.
A marriage will be going excellently but an exposure of deception has dynamite enough to blow up the marriage. Athletes are stripped off their medals years after they were declared winners – why? Because truth matters. For the reason that politicians oversee the systems by which a country runs, it is critical that they are well within the truthful zone. When politicians invest in deception to gain power, doom awaits the people and the country positions itself for relegation from the league of decent nations.
But is truth powerful by itself or can it be permanently subdued? Spiritually speaking, one of the names of Jesus the Messiah is “The Truth.” Relating this to the happenings at the cross, Jesus was sentenced based on false witnesses. Those who sponsored the execution were angry partly because Jesus was exposing them for who they were. Truth was on trial and Truth was nailed. But falsehood had only a temporary victory. Truth rose again! Truth will stand to the end because what is false cannot outlast what is true.