“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” Bob Marley

When I was a little kid, I was told speak the truth always, cost it what it may. My parents installed within me the fear of lying and made real the punitive consequences even at a young age. Believe me when I say punishment for fibbing as a young child in Jamaica was not the handbook to millennial parenting technique of timeouts, I was introduced to real physical consequences. The truth has always been important to me, it shaped my mindset to believe only the weak and the coward lie. There are two things about me, I’m not weak, and the day I become a spineless coward may the heavens open up and pour down fire and brimstone on my lowly head. Dramatic much? Yeah, I know!

Now an aging adult, I still believe that truth is paramount, however the act and art of lying is not only utilized by the spineless, but also by those who misguidedly consider themselves strong. Bold faced liars who twist and obfuscate clear and present truth into their morphed warped version of reality. The type of brazen liar who will try to convince you that you’re lying, that brown is green, lies are facts, and the truth is debatable.

There are many varied motivation for liars but they all boil down to the same thing. Liars lie to gain the upperhand and protect themselves. Don’t let them fool you. Don’t let them say they were sparing you the truth because it’s a heavy burden. There is no other feeling of lightness and liberation than experiencing that which is true. The wealthy will cheat on their taxes to pay less than their fair share. The powerful will lie to shore up their power and keep you suppressed, ignorant, and docile.

Today’s environment is unapologetically partisan. Everyone seeming to have picked sides and the other side their insufferable enemy. Truth is now malleable to respective world view. Being ignorant is noble, educated is elitist, and worldly means you are a dirty globalist. In this twisted reality we no longer seek to have measured, erudite leaders, but have replaced sensible practitioners of virtue with champions of the lowest denominator popularity contests. Society on a whole seems a bit insecure, we only want leaders who talk like us, think like us, not more educated than us, someone we can have a beer with. Call me elitist but that kind of leader/follower dynamism is bullshit and we should aspire for more. This kind of collective insecurity leaves us primed for manipulation.

Which side of the coin are you, the manipulator or the manipulated? Don’t think too hard, no matter which side you choose you’re siding with abuse. The solution is to throw away that coin and decide how can you really be better. Not just for yourself, but also your environment. The act of lying is easy but ultimately burdensome. In many cases the costs isn’t quantifiable, especially if one believe they’ve gotten away with it. The consequences however can at times be far-reaching. Each time one seeks to undermine the truth and distort reality it is a selfish and destructive act. It is debased and ignoble. For gentle society to be better, then we each must seek to be better versions of ourselves.

In this contemporary culture of esteeming mediocrity, elevated gaslighting is now a common instrument. Don’t let yourself be lied to. Be unrelentingly inquisitive. If they tell you the sky is blue, by all means ask why it’s so and seek out the knowledge as to why it is so. Don’t be docile. Don’t just be led. The theory of Alphas have long been overturned as an error by the very researcher who proposed it. I know we aren’t all natural born leaders, however we weren’t meant to just listlessly follow. Religion may indeed be the opiate of the people, but their lack of desire for knowledge and the truth will forever keep them in the dark.

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