Meeting the requirement to tell the whole truth to ensure straight thinking is a tough task for us all. Facts are where we tend to make our most common crooked thinking. We misrepresent the facts — whether intentionally or unintentionally. Therefore, the first lesson for all of us to learn is to make sure that our facts are truly facts, not simply opinions that have been repeated so often with emotional power that they become “facts” in people’s minds. No one, no matter how educated, escapes the dangers of this damaging way of thinking. With crooked thinking, we never find the truth.
The Whole Truth Is “Real”
And there is a second word we need to focus on if we are to be straight thinkers: real. It is astounding that the history of human thought and human lives reveals that we so blindly appear to want to shut our eyes to the realities of life and our world. The appearance comes from the repeated refusal for all of us to look reality in the face and call it what it is.
We can trace the word real from the ancient Sanskrit language through Latin and French to when it made its first appearance in English in 1325 AD. Both East and West own it as an expression of what truly exists, what is genuine, and the opposite of what is merely fictitious or imagined. Things like rocks, love, and truth truly exist and are real things. Facts are what is real. Opinions, on the other hand, can be nothing but the inaccurate creations of a misinformed mind.
The Whole Truth Must Also Include All the Facts
To speak accurately means telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth about all the facts, not just some of the facts. The WHOLE truth is the required language of the courts for sound reason.
Sophistry is the skill of creating a clever, but misleading, argument, and it is all too often the way we and our children talk and think. Not surprisingly, sophistry first appears in the Greek language meaning “wise” and all who use this deceptive way of speaking think themselves wise. It is “twisted wisdom” if the two words can coexist without fighting each other. Arguments that have the ring of truth but are in reality misleading are the stock in trade of modern-day sophists. Don’t be seen as a sophist by your children. Teach them to think straight by using the wisdom of truth, not the sophistry of dressed-up lies.
Truth Is Not Speculation, Fantasy, or Imagination
Don’t build a case on speculation, fantasy, or imagination and pass it off as truth. Yes, this is going to challenge all of us, parents included. Have all of us adults not noticed that children quickly learn to be sophists, speakers of clever falsehoods. We and they must learn to speak the unadulterated truth.
“Set a watch, oh Lord, at the door of my lips,” requested the psalmist. Such watchfulness on our part is the only way to stop crooked thinking before it infects others. We must teach ourselves and others, to examine our thoughts before we fire the loose cannon of crooked thinking.
Parent, when you fail at this, point out your error to your child. Holding yourself accountable becomes a powerful example of straight thinking and honest parenting.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from that link!)
Lean into the whole truth by discovering the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are. Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth. Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide that help. If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation and an InnerKinetics consultant will call you to answer questions and schedule your meeting. Schedule an Initial Consultation. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.