How can you tell truth from lies? Is there a common indicator from which we can gauge? I listen for tone of voice, I watch how the eyes shift, how the cheeks twitch, or how the neck pulsates. But even that can be misread. The words that dance off people's tongues, that slide soft off cold lips, how do we know?
For years tobacco companies hid the truth, understating the dangers of their lucrative product. Addictive? Unhealthy? They shrug their shoulders.
What about governments? How even the fragment of power can twist and mangle words into lies. Money? Disaster? They shake their heads.
Even the mob mentality, or the popular hysteria, the rash frenzy can sweep away truth from words. Here drink this Kool-Aid, jump off this cliff, sniff this dust. Murder? No heaven? They don't blink.
Your closest friend. "I will be there for you." Betrayal? Hurt? They wave it away.
Trust. No I don't trust. Your mouth moves and I watch for lies. I pass you by in the street and grip my wallet, hold my breath along the dark, stuff away my hands so I cannot be bitten.
I hold back my words, even the true ones. The ones that let you know me. You see a glimpse, but you don't know, you can't know. Because the truth is precious, it's fragile, it's power. What do you do with power? It is a gift, this truth. Don't take it for granted.
I watch your words for this gift. So that maybe, I can hold them, feel them between my fingers, run them over my skin, but they don't wander like feathers, because the truth of your words are solid as a rock, on its foundation is built freedom.
But how do I know you speak the truth? Can I take your word for it? Because what if your words were lies and you didn't know it? What if your philosophy, your belief, everything was a lie? What then? Can I trust your words? Can I really?
Do I know how to read myself? What if the words that flutter from my mouth fall flat and I don't see?
How then do I know?
Damn me if I tell you lies. Do not listen to a word I say if I don't speak the truth. Words are too valuable to be cheapened. Too valuable to be thrown around. Find and seek the truth, and treasure it with your life.