What do you want to hear? Ever since I watched a movie called A Few Good Men, I will never forget the line between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson where a lawyer is examining a witness and strongly demands truth… as the lawyer says, “I want the truth!”, the witness replies with this, “You can’t handle the truth!” That statement definitely provokes a thought worth thinking about when you ask someone, even yourself, any question. Are you able to handle the truths in your life, and the reality in the world around you?
One of the many truths (or facts) in my life which took me so long to grasp, face, and feel the freedom to openly discuss with others, is a health problem that many people have… epilepsy. When I first was diagnosed with epilepsy, at the age of 19, just the name of the diagnosis made me feel like I had a deadly virus or something. I didn’t want to tell anyone about it and I didn’t want to deal with it myself, for that matter; it was as though I was in denial of even having epilepsy. I couldn’t handle knowing I wasn’t in control of my own body. Yet, as I have matured into the person who I am now, I have come to the understanding that though this truth is apart of me, it doesn’t define me.
While spending time with a friend yesterday, we discussed some serious issues in his life. As I listened more and talked about it more, I internally questioned myself before I spoke, if I should tell him my heartfelt feelings and give my opinion (honestly, some wisdom) to a specific issue in his life. Throughout the day as we were together this same issue came up as we did various things; which at the time gave me an open door to either speak or hold my peace. I questioned if I should really address the issue with my honest feelings, or just leave it alone to more a superficial response and dialogue. I said to myself, “If I told my friend my honest opinion, which could help him solve the issue, would he even have the ability inside of him to do what it took in order to follow through with it? Does he even want the problem solved?!?”
The truth about all areas of life can be hard to handle. I remember as a kid I remember going to my first cow auction, where some cows and bulls are sold and bought by other cattle farmers, while others are sold to the slaughterhouse. I also remember the first time we killed a deer and seeing this beautiful large animal, lifeless; then afterwards going through the process of taking it to the meat store, so that it’s cut up and packaged. Those experiences make me respect food, yet how many people actually know or want to know the truth about what they eat or where it comes from – many couldn’t handle it if they really knew. [Off the topic: I think everyone should get a chance to kill something and eat it… they’ll become more appreciative of life, and be more grateful for the food they have.]
One thing that has become harder for me to ignore, is the continuing political race for president. Every week there’s another documentary about both candidates, their families, their political parties, or something. Yet, as I watch these politicians refrain from answering direct questions, fearing the onslaught of negative media attention, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that politicians really don’t care about telling the truth, as much as they care about maintaining their image. And honestly, if I were in their shoes I probably would act the same way, so that I could win.
Well, I know that America is the nation of the free, the home of the brave, a beacon of light to the world for peace… but, how many people really know that America is the largest exporter of weapons in the world. It is a two-sided coin; weapons are needed in order to protect, but they also are the very essential means of destruction and war. So, what does that mean? … nothing, if you don’t care. Can you handle that truth?