Week 1- veracity Week 2- detachment Week 3- fairness Week 4- just
“The jury did not doubt the veracity of the witness.” In a trial a witness is sworn in and put under oath to tell the truth. His veracity is the fact that his responses are in agreement with the truth as he is aware of it. In today’s society, most people have a perverted sense of what truth is and therefore their veracity is suspect. We see this to be true in the way our national media presents events and the circumstances surrounding them. Distortion is common and most reports should be taken as being slanted!
A devotion to truth is one of the meanings of veracity and it is also defined as conformity with truth or fact. Veracity can also be defined as the power of conveying or perceiving truth; it is also something true. There are several synonyms that can help us to understand what veracity is, such as, integrity, honesty and truthfulness. Abraham Lincoln was known for his integrity and personal veracity. He became president at a crucial time in U.S. history. He worked to end a bitter war and addressed serious issues that divided our country. We are at another time in history where we need another “Honest Abe” to lead us!
“He was very good at projecting phantom veracity.” As we learned two weeks ago with our study of “mendacity,” making lies sound like truth is propaganda. Phantom veracity is another form of propaganda that is to make a lie sound like it is true. What then are some signs that we might look for to find traits of phantom veracity. First, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Secondly, does it conform to what you know about the subject, and lastly, a little cynicism can be useful to determine if what is said is really true. It never hurts to have doubts about something you hear especially if it borders on being unreal. Phantom veracity requires that you diligently look for truth or you will be a victim of propaganda!
Good character traits are a positive for anyone trying to build a good reputation. As a charter trait veracity is one that you should be working to add. To be known as a sound source of truth is very desirable. It will develop others trust in you. Veracity can help you weather ‘storms’ when attacks come. The power in veracity as a character trait is that it is a sign post that your responses are built upon truthfulness and that you are devoted to truth as a principle. Without truth, life has a tendency to decay into disappointments and failure. Watch your ‘veracity’ level and keep it high!
Veracity should be a key component of any relationship. The primary meaning of veracity is a devotion to truth and as such it should also be an integral item in one’s relationships. Veracity is the key to trust in a relationship and without trust a relationship will flounder and eventually cease. Check your most important relationships to see if they are built on a devotion to truth!
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“The U.S. State Department is exhibiting an attitude of detachment from global concerns that is alarming.” Today’s state department is showing signs of returning to the Monroe Doctrine era of focusing only upon North American interests in foreign policy. Such separation from the atrocities and genocidal activities in the Mid-east can only promote conditions for another world war. The real question is will the U.S. be strong enough or willing enough to stop such a threat? Detachment is not the right attitude for Americans to have today!
One way in which we understand the use of detachment is to remove something. “The form is perforated to make detachment of the bottom section easier.” In this example, we see a process of separating something from a larger whole and this is one of the meanings of our word. Probably the most common definition is ‘lack of emotion or of personal interest.’ In a military sense, detachment is ‘a permanently organized separate unit usually smaller than a platoon and of special composition.’ In some sense, it might also be ‘indifference to worldly concerns.’ This latter meaning seems to fit the present attitude of our nation’s president!
For today, we will pursue some signs of detachment. Several synonyms will help us to see these signs: disinterest, equity, fairness, and objectivity. Also to show indifference to worldly concerns or aloofness is another indicator. Again, bias and prejudice are antonyms that are opposing signs of detachment. “The book would have better served its purpose if it had shown more detachment.” This example gives us an indication of how more ‘detachment’ could have served the author’s purpose of informing his readers. When information (or news) is given to the public, detachment can serve the purpose of showing fairness and impartiality. But, in personal matters, detachment may not be a good thing!
”A detachment of National Guard soldiers was dispatched to assist the police.” In this example sentence, we see detachment being used to produce a result. In this case part of the National Guard was sent to perform special service to fill a need. This is a different sense in how detachment is used. It is a separation of a part from the main body that is sent to perform a specific action. It is this performing a specific action that sets it apart from the larger body. Detachment can be used to perform different results!
The primary definition of detachment is “lack of emotion or of personal interest.” It is in this sense that detachment should not be part of a personal relationship. However, when you sense detachment from another party in the relationship, it will normally mean that the relationship is in a downward spiral. When detachment becomes evident, it puts the relationship into an emergency condition. Without prompt action to find the cause, it will probably not end well for either party. Beware unresolved detachment!
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“Though, in all fairness, ten years have changed some people enormously.” Fairness is one of those words that most people know about but seldom apply correctly or with understanding. Perhaps at this point a couple of synonyms will help. Impartial, justness, and justice are words that give indication of useful meaning about fairness. As we interface with others, we should listen and try to understand what they are trying to communicate. Reacting to ‘loaded’ trigger words or buzzwords is not communicating with fairness!
“Treating all people equally and applying reasonable punishments only when rules are broken is an example of fairness.” Webster’s online dictionary is puzzling for they show ‘fairness’ as an obsolete word. Does that mean that fairness is no longer meaningful? Or, is it just no longer of importance to the editors of Webster’s online dictionary? Other dictionaries do still list fairness as a usable word. They do define it as: just and reasonable treatment in accordance with accepted rules and principles. Webster’s treatment of this word may give us an indication of what our society thinks of fairness. It seems to be losing its value for ‘equal’ treatment in society today!
Fairness is also looking at something, a law, policy or action, to be free from discrimination based upon race, religion, sex, etc. “Today’s pundits utter political commentaries which are conflict laced without any semblance of fairness.” Candor and fair play should be part of any act of fairness whether in politics or daily life. Many minority activists do not seem to understand the true intent of fairness, but pervert it into a malignant, emotion laden arena to correct social injustice. Emotions alone are never fair and balanced!
Freedom from discrimination should be the result of fairness. However, in our world today, fairness is not the goal. The media, government, politics and minority groups all have a slant and an agenda that defeats fairness. Even in theology, some religions want to promote “their theology” as correct and other religions as tainted or perverted. The intent of fairness is to put everyone on the same level. Our society today promotes unfairness is some way, as one athlete is better than another or one political part is superior to another or one class has the advantage over others. None of these things promote fairness. Check your fairness chart to see how you rate!
In a relationship, fairness should be the balance beam of any action. One-sided relationships normally do not have the strength to withstand the storms that life will spring upon us. A fair and equal relationship will stand upon a solid foundation. However, there are some cautions: someone needs to lead; disagreements should be resolved quickly and if not, then agree to disagree. When on the balance beam that can require much experience and also team support. Fairness is doing the right thing at the right time!
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In light of recent international news, let’s examine this question: “Is there a just cause for war?” For any human being, we must face our own mortality and the fact that we will each die at our designated time. However, must we die prematurely before our threescore and ten have been fully lived? The founders of our country addressed this question with the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and constitution. These documents affirm “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, …” When one faction decides that their way is the only way and force others to conform or die, that is denying freemen the right to decide what are their “unalienable rights.” Deny my rights and you have just declared war on me!
“It was just what I expected.” In this example sentence, we see ‘just’ as conforming to a standard of correctness. This meaning is one of the primary definitions. The second definition is similar as “having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason.” The third definition is “acting or being in conformity with what is morally right or good.” The last meaning relates to law as being “legally correct” as in ‘the robbers got their just punishment for the crime.’ This four letter word has far deeper meaning than we sometimes give to it. Is it your habit to treat people just right?
For today, we will address the issue of what signs or symptoms we might see for ‘just.’ In recent civil rights protests, Ferguson, MO. has been the focal point. The primary cause of these protests was the shooting of 18 year old, Michael Brown. The questions of was it a ‘just’ response by the policeman has not yet been answered. We see in this a lawful question that is being addressed in an ongoing investigation. Out of all this demonstration and negative press stands the idea of what kind of justice system are we going to have to protect the innocent. Lawlessness brings destruction. Just action should be fair, right, deserved and due. These are signs of what is just. We need to know that lawful action is warranted, not that it will produce lawless disintegration!
One result of ‘just’ is to treat people in a way that is morally right or good. Let’s take an expression that we have heard people say: “You have to accept me just as I am.” Is that a condition most of us can accept? Probably not. Why? We are wired to think that others must meet certain conditions, conscious or sub-conscious, for us to accept them. That ‘filter’ that we put on others can keep us from treating someone in a way that is morally right or good. Rare is the person that can accept another without conditions. If a person is a thief we want to help set them straight. Or, if a person is a substance abuser, we want to clean them up. The list goes on. We need to examine ourselves and see if we can just accept ourselves for who we are!
I am reminded that the female side of a relationship is often just a mystery. It is the differences between sexes that make relationships interesting as well as challenging. In a relationship, there must be an understanding of what is morally right or good for the relationship as well as what is proper in it. This is accomplished by an interactive communication for an understanding of what such terms mean and that there is a common ground on how it plays out in the way we treat others. Remember, it just takes time and attention!
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