Friday, 03 December 2021

Being truthful will benefit everyone

ARE we in or are we out? Which side won the argument — the Vote Leave campaigners

ARE we in or are we out? Which side won the argument — the Vote Leave campaigners or the Britain Stronger in Europe protagonists?

As this week’s Henley Standard hits the newstands, the result of the EU referendum might already be known.

Many people seemed to be fed up with the referendum campaign almost as soon as it started. As the campaign progressed, the arguments and counter-arguments put forward by both sides seemed to confuse matters rather than clarify things. Whatever one side said, the other contradicted.

Rather than putting forward constructive advice to help us decide the best option for the good of all people, it seemed our meanest and most selfish natures were being encouraged to come to the fore to guide our decision.

After all the campaigning I find that the question I have been left to answer is not “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave?” but “What is truth?”.

These words, “What is truth”, were uttered by Pontius Pilate when Jesus was brought before him as a criminal and under questioning from Pilate, Jesus stated: “The reason I was born, the reason why I came into the world, is to testify to the truth. Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice.” Pilate obviously was not committed to the truth since, rather than listening to Jesus and declaring him innocent before his accusers, he gave in to their false accusations and handed him over to be put to death.

Why did he do this? Was it the easy option to avoid a riot despite the miscarriage of justice? Was he thinking about his own power and position — “Better to sacrifice an innocent man than Caesar sack me for being unable to control my province”?

Truth is a challenge to each of us. How many times have I been untruthful or “economical” with the truth to protect my reputation, hide a mistake or gain an advantage over others?

Being truthful might make us feel uncomfortable in the short-term but in the long-term our consciences will be clear and we will be at peace.

Whatever the result of the referendum let us hope that, unlike Pontius Pilate, our political leaders will be committed to the truth. As a result hopefully all will benefit, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.

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