In the company meetings last Thursday we heard Mike talk about honesty. He used the phrase, “being valiant for the truth.” What a great concept! To be valiant is to be worthy. To be valiant for the truth is to be worthy of the truth.
Worthy of the truth. Are we? (ok, read out loud that sounds a little like Yoda…)
Throughout our lives we will be faced, both individually and corporately, with opportunities to get what we want if we are willing to let the truth slide a little. Of course, there will be chances to tell huge and complex lies too, but we seldom have trouble rejecting those (at least initially.) It is the small omission, the slight skewing, the selective revelation, that entices us.
When we give in to the temptation to abandon the truth in small ways at least two things happen.
We pave the way for larger lies in the future. No one goes to the highest platform at the pool for their first ever dive. We start by jumping from the side into the shallow water. As we get used to this, we move to the low platform or springboard and, once that becomes normal for us, then on to the highest perches. We acclimate ourselves to a small thing as a stepping stone to a larger one. With each progression, the larger thing becomes the normal and the next step comes into reach. So it is with the abandonment of truth. If we practice our small lies enough, we will become capable of larger ones.
We lose the right to be given the truth. If we are twisting the truth for our gain or advancement, we can hardly be upset by someone else doing the same. While this reality is less observable in one-on-one interactions, it is very clearly at play in the larger community. One side of an issue skews the data to bolster their position and so does the other. Both are justified by the other’s actions in a circular oddity that guarantees no resolution can ever be reached. Additionally, if everyone is lying to some degree or another, the only way to create any reasonability is to claim that somehow everyone has their “own” truth. Which actually results in no one having truth.
Originally I was going to write about a few specific examples of this in recent events and the subsequent responses and coverage. I decided the current events will change tomorrow. The attack on the truth will not.
The community we have built at Kimray is founded on truth, honesty if you will. This is much more than “not lying.” It is being valiant for the truth. Transparent about our motives. Honest about our failures. Protective of our relationships.
If we are honest with each other we can accomplish our goals, overcome the difficulties that lie ahead, find meaning and fulfillment in the work we do, and experience a culture that supports and encourages each of us. We can do this if we are valiant, and I know we are because that is the Kimray Way.