Thursday, June 9, 2016

Lies, half-truths and manipulations

This boy came to OPD with bleeding from gums. He was seen in Dental OPD and was brought to us to rule out any systemic issue. His clinical evaluation revealed multiple purpuras and petechial areas (bleeding spots) suggestive of a bleeding disorder. We asked for his blood parameters and while we were looking at the details, I kept asking the story. Any history of travel, any past history, any other illnesses, any drugs he is on etc – the routine screening for causes of such an illness. He had a pancytopenia – low Hb – 8gm/dl, TLC 1700 cells/cumm and Platelets of 2000 cells/cumm. And as we were trying to get his story, his mother who accompanied him was asking him, why are you not telling everything? Tell what you want to tell. I thought he was going to tell me some major past history which will give some clues to his illness. But he blurted some “inconsequential details” of some “night fall” weakness etc, which he thought was the cause of his illness. But I was not sure, if he was telling the all the truth or was he keeping something from us…. some past history which he does not want to tell us, which is very common in our context.

Many come to us, keeping the past stories away, and after much struggling if we come across the same, through some diagnostic test or other means, they would say, yes we knew it all along…. And many a times I would become angry at this life of “lies; half-truths and manipulation of facts”.

But then should we expect anything more from the community around us? Because what we see today in public leadership also, is a life of “lies, half-truths and manipulation of facts”. The only difference is that the leaders of today, National or world leaders have mastered the art pretty well. They have the media, the judiciary and law in their power and never allow the truth to be revealed as it is. If at all by chance a part of the truth comes out, they have the ability to quietly or sometimes with violence, silence the origin of these truths.  Or make such loud noises on other issues, so that these truths get drowned out in the midst of other louder issues. And the judicial processes are prolonged intentionally to such and extend that, the truth even if it comes out will not matter then. They would have already fulfilled their desires of power and positions and a verdict or revelation so late would make no difference.

You do not have to look far out to see this. Read the stories of our current leaders, listen to the media talks in the West, read between the lines of the news stories, you would start hearing and observing lives which role model “lies, half-truths and manipulations”. And they also know that the Aam Admi (not AAP) has a perpetual dementia. They forget past events too soon…. The international community too, have a past memory loss. Leaders and nations whom another nation would talk against based on their so called values suddenly will become bosom pals – because economy speaks…values are forgotten for economic gain of nations….

Am I guilty of such a life....?

When did the world move from a confidence in - “Truth shall set you free” to one of pride in living a life of “lies, half-truths and manipulations”?

Francis Schaeffer said a decade back - “Today not only in philosophy but in politics, government, and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis and not absolutes. When this happens, truth, as people have always thought of truth, has died.” 

In the midst of all these – like Albert Schweitzer said, “Let us rejoice in the truth, wherever we find its lamp burning.” And follow this principle - “Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of peace.” (J. C. Ryle). Because “As a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.” Thomas Aquinas. 

Stations on the Road to Freedom

Dietrich Bonhoeffer(1906-1945) Discipline If you set out to seek freedom, then learn above all things to govern your soul and your sense...