Live Not by Lies
Perhaps you have seen the fantastic series Chernobyl. One of my favorite parts was the ending when Valery Legasov gives this amazing speech. His summary on the cause of the Chernobyl disaster? Lies.
This scene is a direct and clear reference to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn amazing “Live Not by Lies“. It was published the day he was arrested and exiled in 1974. In it he exhorts his fellow Soviet citizens to no longer cooperate with the Soviet regime’s lies.
It’s definitely worth a read in the world that seems increasingly happy to wrap themselves in the blanket of what we want to believe. We pick echo chambers that reflect what we want to hear and cut off the very lifeblood of truth from ourselves by shutting opposing voices out or canceling people. Instead of actually believing that truth is something that can and will stand on it’s own no matter what is thrown at it – we now hold to ‘our truth‘ which is little more than opinion and almost always collapses in the face of any real study or facts. We cling to these opinions and avoid thinking critically about our own position nor engage in the charity work of dialog and debate with opponents so the best answers can be found by all.
We now even choose to believe lies when those lies fly in the face of science – such as proven environmental or biological science. But reality doesn’t care what we believe or feel – it exists outside ourselves. If you choose not to wear your seatbelt because you don’t believe in them – the physics of a car crash will correct your mistaken opinion. If you choose to ignore vaccinations or deny your chromosomal makeup – your genes or biological invaders will exert themselves no matter what you want to believe.
When the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember it is even there.
But it is still there.
Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.
The question is: how bad is the price when that happens? Some lies only hurt ourselves or do injuries to another’s reputation. Chernobyl shows, however, even seemingly simple lies can also cause disastrous consequences – often far greater than people imagined who simply hid a small design problem.
Lies have a cost. Live Not by Lies.