23 April, 2015

T is for Truth

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters
cannot be trusted in large ones either.

As our country unfurls its (offshore manufactured) flags and prepares to commemorate the centenary of a myth – no doubt, based in facts – but made popular and so much more palatable by an iconic cinematic masterpiece, Peter Weir's Gallipoli (1981), I am struck by an adage: that you'd not want to let the truth get in the way of a good story. 

This dictum has taken our nation quite a way from the core of itself, when the core was actually just fine, had there been the awareness, maturity and the fortitude to seek out the truth rather than just be seduced by a film, throw in some timely nationalistic spin, and call it fact.

And on this very same day the internet is throbbing with outrage because a young woman who built a successful life and business on the back of her astounding recovery from terminal brain cancer, has been exposed as never having had cancer at all.  Misdiagnosis, she suggests. But also, she says, possibly she was confused.  And she definitely had a difficult childhood.  And since she's come out publicly and told the truth about it all, she believes she deserves forgiveness and understanding for the deceit and deception.  She can't seem to see that "the truth" she's told isn't quite credible and nothing really makes any sense in light of what's gone before.  

People are really angry at this woman.  I have read calls for her to be put in jail for life.  I get it.  We don't like being made fools of, and people don't like fraudsters. And lord forbid anyone who really did/does have cancer stopped taking their medication and followed her lead and got more sick.  There's a betrayal here and the public response is vast and visceral.

I was raised to believe that the only thing a person should be loyal to is the truth. I'm interested that as a society we only apply this where it suits us. 

As individuals we can only be responsible for our own stories and our own truth.  It no doubt changes as we grow, reflect, review and gain new insights.  I hope as a community we can grow up and do that too.  I think we will all be so much better for it.


  1. "Among the calamities of war may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages."
    Samuel Johnson...1750-something

  2. No idea what woman/girl you're talking about; but it sounds awful to play on people's sympathy to say you had cancer and they what gave her money or something to help her be successful, and it was all a lie. A lie, that if others followed suit they could have become sicker or died. EGADS!

    1. Hi Sandy, if you're interested, Google Belle Gibson. The story is unfolding. I suspect she is a sick puppy on some level to've done what she's done... Thank you, by the way for reading!