I’m a big believer in communication. I feel quite strongly that the key to any good relationship is quality communication. Quality communication is entirely dependent on truth and honesty. You can’t have a good relationship with someone you don’t trust. Period. That’s why I’ve learned to place a high value on the integrity of my words; because they will end up being the measuring stick by which people judge me.
Truth is important. There should be no compromise in our commitment to it. It seems common for people to justify telling small untruths to serve some greater end. I believe at the heart of this is the great lie that the end justifies the means. This is a patently false worldview. Were Stalin to have succeeded in creating a utopian society, a virtual heaven here on earth, would that have justified the millions of deaths by which it was created? In the same way, we cannot allow ourselves to fudge on our standards of truth. Christ defined Himself in terms of truth, saying ‘I am the… truth.’ God laid out the standard of holiness at Mount Sinai when He said, ‘thou shalt not lie.’ Over and over again in the New Testament we see truth as fundamental to the gospel and to a consistent, holy life. We also see deceit and error and lies as being diametrically opposed to all that is the gospel. How then, can we justify fudging on being truthful in our own lives.
All of this was spurred on by the knowledge that people seem unable to take me at face value. It seems that everyone is always looking for some sort of ‘hidden meaning’ in my words. It thoroughly confuses me, as I know I’m being truthful, and I know I have no hidden agenda. There’s just something about me that makes people guess at my real meaning. I think it’s my face. Apparently my face often looks angry, and I’m constantly being told by my wife that I look angry. I’m not, but apparently I look it. My words are often mistaken for sarcasm as well. I guess people assume I wouldn’t say what I said in the way I said it without trying to be funny. Today I was talking with my co-teacher about our upcoming winter camp. I mentioned that it was 3 weeks long, and asked her if she had plans to go anywhere on vacation (her family usually travels during the breaks). She returned with a puzzled look and questioned me if there was a problem with the camp, if I had a trip I couldn’t go on because of the camp, etc. She cocked her head to the side and looked at me intently, as if to say ‘why are you asking me this?’ This kind of reaction happens often. Too often.
Which leads me to believe that there is something happening in the time between when my words leave my mouth and they hit the ears of my hearer. I think it’s the Russians. Either that or I’m just a really terrible communicator. Who in their right mind would ever believe that though? Clearly the most logical, sane answer to my problem is that the Russians are putting out some sort of jamming signal to change my words. That’s clearly the most obvious answer.