I am afraid that we have caught the ‘lying disease’ from the White House and are now emulating it. I have watched parents stand silently by as their children tell bold-faced lies, supporting, even encouraging the lies, never speaking up. I watch commercials, wanting us to believe if our turtle doesn’t like the car we just purchased, we can bring it back for a full refund or we can look 20 years younger with a swipe of a magic potion. So where has truth-telling gone and why aren’t we trying to find it again?

I’ve told this story before because it made such an impact on me. 

It’s about a woman in India who was upset her son was eating too much sugar. No matter how much she chided him, he continued. Totally frustrated, she decided to take her son to see his great hero Mahatma Gandhi. She approached the great leader respectfully and said, “Sir, my son eats too much sugar. It is not good for his health. Would you please advise him to stop eating it?” Gandhi listened to the woman carefully, turned and spoke to her son, “Go home and come back in two weeks.” The woman looked perplexed and wondered why he had not asked the boy to stop eating sugar.

She took the boy by the hand and began her exhausting two-day walk back home.  Two weeks later she returned, the boy in hand. Gandhi motioned for them to come forward. He looked directly at the boy and said, “Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health.” The boy nodded and promised he would not continue any longer. The boy’s frustrated mother turned to Gandhi and asked, “Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here to see you?” Gandhi smiled, “Mother, two weeks ago I was still eating sugar myself.” 

Gandhi lived in such integrity that he would not allow himself to give advice unless he was living by it himself.  This is one of the toughest topics to write about because first, it is incredibly important and also because believe it or not, there are several types of truth. For instance, there is the Universal Truth we can all agree on. We are on the amazing planet and we live and we die. Albeit, for some, the body may die, but the soul does not — depending upon what you believe.

Another type of truth is my truth and your truth 

Those truths come from our little red wagon of life experiences, some of which are even unconscious. When each of us, is sincere and genuine in what we believe to be the truth, then we can say our truth is true for us. And yet when there are two people, there is a truth that is also true for the other, and those truths can collide. And it’s in the middle of that collision, you both have to use your communication skills, be willing to give up your need to be right and listen to see how the other person’s truth is true or him or her. That’s when the holy moment of healing occurs.

Once I understand how your truth is true for you, and you understand how my truth is true for me, then, we can negotiate a compromise that works for both of us.

Now, here’s the headline! 

If we just argue about who is right or insist on proving we are right, we never get to the holy moment or the healing. Unfortunately, today what we are seeing is people who think being right is more important than truth or being ethical and principled. The most important thing we can do for ourselves, our growth in consciousness and our kids, is making sure we are telling the truth about everything and make sure none of it is delivered with a sledgehammer. For instance, if someone asks, “Do you think I look good in this dress,” and you hate the dress, you can always say, “I like the green one better. “See you are learning to be a sweet, savvy truth-teller already.

Dr. Dina is a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist and Consciousness Counselor. She has presented nationwide seminars and workshops, written several books and created meditation CDs for couples, individual and mental health professionals. She has also won national acclaim as a human rights advocate. Visit www.drdinaevan.com or call her at 602 571-8228