Recall the cherished story of a young George Washington who, after chopping down his father’s favorite Cherry Tree, confessed, “I cannot tell a lie; I did chop it down with my hatchet.” His honesty earned the admiration of his father and of all those who retell this story. We are in a perplexing time in our history. As Americans, we value and protect free speech, as a right of each citizen. Though we also hold honesty as a noble value, many of us feel it is slipping through our fingers. Separating truth from falsehood is a daily challenge. What one person considers a fact, another calls a fallacy. What is true for me is not the same for you. There is no easy way out of this dilemma. In our search for truth and the desire to express it honestly—who knows—perhaps, prayer for insight and trust in another’s search for truth is a best first step.
By Christian Morris, OSB