Tuesday, April 21, 2009


March 22, 2009
Cogito, DCHerald

A man and his wife went hunting at a nearby local hunting area. After two hours of chasing wild boars, they decided to take a rest on the banks of a placid lake. The water was very inviting but both were hesitant to take a plunge for fear that the lake was deep.

Later, a young lad (most probably a native of the place) passed by. The wife asked the young man, “Is the lake deep?” He answered, “No.” She proceeded, “Could I and my husband take a plunge?” The man answered, “Of course, if you wish!”

At that, the husband took off his shirt and jumped into the water. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a big crocodile showed up and seized the husband’s leg with its huge jaw. Hysterical, the wife blamed the young boy, “Why didn’t you tell us that there’s a crocodile in the lake?” The boy answered, “You did not ask!”

Half-truth is equally dangerous than lies.

* * *

It may sound just a tale, but half-truths nowadays are no telltale. Just a few days ago, we were shocked by the recantation of ‘Nicole’, a Filipina who accused an American Marine of rape in 2005. I have read the “shocking affidavit” in which she admitted that what happened could not have been rape. It could be that they “were just carried away”.

But the point is that the halftruth told three years ago had cost a very high price – not only the freedom of one man, but also his reputation; and the honor, not only of one person, but also of the whole nation or two. It is not only a mockery to justice; it is also a mockery to truth.

Once again, we have seen that halftruth is equally dangerous than lies.

* * *

“Honesty is the best policy”, runs an old adage that often hangs by the walls of an elementary school classroom. Yet the problem nowadays is not anymore that people often say lies; the problem is that almost everyone does not say the whole truth.

“The first thing that entered my mind was how would my mother and boyfriend react if they learn that I was last seen with Daniel Smith…” In order to avoid moral reproach for an immoral act done, ‘Nicole’ resorted to halftruths and made up her own version of the story.

One immoral action leads to another. To hide an immoral act, she resorted to another morally reprochable one. A lie always leads to another lie and form a chain of lies that ends up binding one’s conscience. “My conscience continues to bother me…”, says ‘Nicole’.

“Daniel Smith was convicted of rape because the court accepted my version…” The court would not have accepted ‘Nicole’s’ version had it discovered that it was halftruth. Here’s now the dilemma that not only the courts of our Republic, but also all Filipinos, especially those who love the truth, find enigmatic: “How do we know that an affirmation is halftruth?”

* * *

Once again, we are given a picture of the level of moral integrity our country possesses today. Judges and lawyers may argue on the legal implications of ‘Nicole’s’ recantation. But I think, the most crucial question is posed to us, parents, teachers, religious leaders, Church ministers, and to all Filipino people: “How to uplift the moral integrity especially among our youth?”

A few years ago, during my high school days, I came across with the Rotary Club of our school, the Sta. Ana National High School, in which I have learned what the club calls “The Four-Way Test”. It was composed by Herbert J. Taylor (1893-1978) during a business crisis in 1932, and was adopted as part of Rotary International in January 1943.

I think, in this moment not only of economic crisis but most especially of moral degradation, the “Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do” is quite applicable:

1) Is it the truth?
2) Is it fail to all concerned?
3) Will it build goodwill and better friendship?
4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
A simple observance to this test could effectively keep us away from the dangers of halftruths!

No comments:

"Sacerdotes, 'consagrados en la Verdad'"

Estar inmersos en la Verdad, en Cristo, de este proceso forma parte
la oración, en la que nos ejercitamos en la amistad con Él y aprendemos a
conocerle: su forma de ser, de pensar, de actuar. Rezar es un caminar en
comunión personal con Cristo, exponiendo ante Él nuestra vida cotidiana,
nuestros logros y nuestros fracasos, nuestras fatigas y nuestras alegrías -es un
simple presentarnos a nosotros mismos ante Él. Pero para que esto no se
convierta en un autocontemplarse, es importante que aprendamos continuamente a
rezar rezando con la Iglesia.