For the last few years a small audio and video booth has been traveling the world, visiting various cities and asking people to come inside and record themselves. People have come from all walks of life to enter the "truth booth" and complete the sentence, "The truth is......"
This fascinating project is the result of five artists who came up with the idea and made their forum available to anyone who wanted to put in their five cents. So far, the truth booth has made it through the US, Mexico, South Africa, Afghanistan, Australia and Ireland. It came through my city last summer and I wasn't able to go down and check it out, so I'll give my own version of the truth in just a bit.
First, I had to watch the videos, of which there are hundreds from around the world. You can see them at http://insearchofthetruth.net . Some are just a few seconds long, and the maximum time allowed is two minutes. This short time frame made people focus in on what was the truth for them that day, and I'm sure they might have given a different answer a different day.
The stories of truth, coming from the mouths of all these volunteers, are as varied as they are. Some gave very personal accounts of what the immediate truth in their lives was that day. Some went philosophical and talked about God, happiness, beauty, love and peace. Some were just weird or silly. Here are some of my favorites:
"Truth is finding yourself. It's comparing oneself with one's environment. It's rethinking oneself and rethinking the whole world. The truth is the truth. We should not fear it. We should not hide from it. We should not drown this truth. But, finding the truth, seeking the truth and deciding what we have found to be true in this constant search for why we are here, what we are supposed to do here, and where we are going here is fundamental. We have to understand that the search for truth is not to find the truth, the search for truth is a sense of life, and life is a path. The truth is what we can never find, but it is what we always look for."
"Truth is being authentic to who I am. I've struggled a lot in life about kind of finding myself in a way and kind of putting myself out there, and it's something I've struggled with even with my family and my friends. I feel like recently I've discovered kind of a way to be more open to people and be vulnerable. Truth for me is being vulnerable and learning to be myself.
"The truth is how much I have loved."
"The truth is that 'the moment' never comes. You always have to look for it, because it will never just appear in your life. It will always be like you always have to look for it. You always have to look yourself because life will never tell you 'it's time'."
"The truth is that time passes and we're all born and we'll all die. Beyond that, it's hard to say what's the truth."
It's fascinating to listen to what these random people were thinking that day, especially those in Mexico and Afghanistan, two cultures I know very little about. In this age of confusion and alternate facts, it's nice to hear that people are still seeking the truth and not willing to settle for lies and apathy.
Before I share my truth, here are some more famous quotes about truth from people who wrote about the subject.
"Three things cannot be long hidden- the sun, the moon, and the truth" Buddha
“The truth." Dumbledore sighed. "It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.” J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Mark Twain
“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.” George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” Mahatma Gandhi
Here, then, is my contribution since I didn't make it down to the truth booth.
The truth is that we live in a complicated world where there are at least two sides to every story. Yin and yang, work and play, men and women, liberals and conservatives, love and money. To embrace one and throw out the other is foolish. Be open to new knowledge and wary of lies. The universe is unknowable, but our little corner can be navigated with open eyes and a good, strong heart. The truth of life is to find a balance as you walk though your precious, limited time on earth. Find your balance and you find your truth.