Accept the Truth

British philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Arthur William Russell once stated that one of the reasons why Adolf Hitler suffered defeat in World War II is because he did not understand the situation fully. He punished bearers of bad news and soon everyone shied from telling him the truth; this therefore meant that he could not act or react to situations appropriately because he refused to hear the truth and grasp the reality of the situation.

The above example of Hitler by Bertrand Russell, paints a picture of how some of us are; always living in constant denial of the realities in our respective surroundings and circumstances. Through our own fears, anxiety disorders, or desires, we tend to block or color incoming factual data which might be crucial in effectively handling a situation. Rather than accept the truth about a situation as it is, we would rather manipulate it to suit our narrative of how we would prefer things to be.

Like Hitler, we refuse to see the truth and admit some of our mistakes, errors, and shortcomings, we would rather paint a false picture of the reality instead of actually admitting that we are wrong however painful that may feel or sound. Simply put, we live in denial that a situation is other than we would have it to be; so we lie to ourselves. But how can we effectively deal with an environment or a situation if we are unwilling to acknowledge the truth about it. One major aspect of success in life is the ability to be honest with ourselves. What we refer to as sincerity is itself based on self honesty and self understanding, for no man can claim to be sincere if he lies to himself by telling himself ‘rational lies’ so to speak.
Accepting the truth extends to other character flaws like anger. American spiritual teacher, psychologist, and author Ram Dass said the following; “When somebody rouses your anger, the only reason you get angry is because you are holding on to how you think something is supposed to be. You are denying how it is. Then you see it’s the expectations of your own mind that are creating your own hell. When you get frustrated because something isn’t the way you thought it should be, examine the way you thought, not just the thing that frustrates you. You’ll see that your emotional suffering is created by your models of how you think the universe should be and your inability to allow it to be as it is.”

Seek and be open to factual information concerning yourself, your problems, your environment, and other people; accept the information as it is whether it is good or bad, as long as it is factual, accept it. In dealing with other people, make an effort to see a situation from their point of view as well as yours before making any conclusions. Finally, learn to admit your mistakes and errors but don’t brood over them, simply correct them and move forward.

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