The truth can be defined into two definition ; it can means that it is accordance to the real life facts or a belief that is accepted as a true things. The first meaning of truth refer to the absolute facts as for example the atomic mass for Carbon is 12.011 and atomic mass for Oxygen is 15.999 in which it is true based on the fact and scientific discovery. The second meaning for truth however does not solely based on facts but rather common belief that commonly accepted by a group of people for example it is commonly accepted that H2O or known as water is liquid but we also know that H2O also existed in solid form thus it is not the absolute truth.
Say the truth even though it is bitter – قل الحق ولو كان مرا
I am attracted to the above quotes from an Arabic Proverb – it encourages people to say the truth even it is bitter, harsh or simply hard to be accepted. But what is truth ? Sometimes we tends to speak things that other people wanted or wished to hear which I believed most of it are not lies but not the absolute truth.
Take an example ; imagine that you are a student and your teacher give you a total of 5 question for your homework – you are able to finish 4 out of the 5 questions. The next day the teacher come and ask you “Have you do your homework?”. What will be your answer? It is a lie if I answered “Yes” – am I wrong to answered “Yes”. In my opinion, I already did my homework but not finished it yet or should I just answered “No” in which I know that the teacher might get angry.
Someone said that truth lies with honesty and the honesty comes in the explanation of the answer. Referring to the above situation, regardless which answer that I give to the teacher either “Yes” or “No” both is not considered truth nor lies as it can be both at that time – and if I add some honest explanation such as “Yes, I did my homework but I have issue with the last question” that and only that the statement become a solid truth.
In addition, I have read a stories of 3 blind men that goes to see an elephant – after each of them have met the elephant ; they described it. The first man describes the animal is like a spear as he touch the tusk, the second man touch the trunk and say that the animal is indeed a large snake while the last one hug the leg and describe it as a tree. All of them are describing the truth but we all know that it is not the absolute truth. Thus truth indeed is belief, what people wanted to belief.
Is it wrong to tell something which is not an absolute truth to someone in order to make them feel better? Or is it better to speak the truth even it is hurting the other people? What do you think about this? Which one do you prefer ? Beautiful lies or the ugly truth ?
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. – Albert Einstein