Truth has its boots on!
The title of this blog is derived from the saying: ‘A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.’ This saying was attributed (in 1919) to Mark Twain. However, a quick search shows that there are numerous variations on this “proverb” that go all the back to 1710. In 1840 Thomas Jefferson was credited with saying: “falsehood will travel over the country, while truth is pulling on its boots”, and in an 1855 sermon, Charles Spurgeon a London preacher said, “If you want truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly; it is as light as a feather, and a breath will carry it. It is well said in the old Proverb, ‘A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.’
Regardless of the origin, the reality of this premise has been observed by many. I have witnessed this phenomenon numerous times, including several instances just in the last few years. Misconceptions, misunderstandings, falsehoods, and downright intentional lies are spread rapidly by several means and there are a number of reasons why that happens. Acceptance, based on emotion and misplaced trust in the source, rather than on rational study and evaluation, is the root cause. A misconception or lie can spread due to fear, excitement, worry, gossip, or misrepresentation (intentional or unintentional). Once it is individually or globally endorsed or accepted the false narrative becomes “conventional wisdom”. Overturning the error and correcting a falsely imbedded impression is a challenge but it can and has been done, but not necessarily with 100% success.
For example, in the 17 hundreds a false narrative was spread that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites and that “fact” became well known and well accepted. It took a long time for that assertion to be recognized by almost everyone as invalid. In the last century in the United States the “idea” of separation of Church and State, has supplanted the actual, documented “first amendment right to free exercise of religion”. This misconception has via judicial autocracy and “conventional wisdom” become an accepted fact by the greater part of the populous.
My goal in the missives of this blog is to set the record straight – to put the boots on the truth and get it out ! Complex topics, where history and details are important, will come in short installments. Hopefully, each installment of these more complex topics will put you on the edge of your seat – eager for the next episode.
Getting and verifying the facts surrounding a topic leads down many roads and often those roads are filled with interesting information that I yearn to share – but may make the story too long. Thus, I have attempted to provide two choices on some of the topics – a more concise version for those who like that and a “full” version for those wanting more detail. Thanks for joining me in this effort to PUT THE BOOTS ON THE TRUTH!! Larry Von Thun
Comments and input on the topics presented can add to the richness of the learning experience and those that are civil and polite will be approved and added.