Truth or Consequences

“Hoping all your consequences are happy ones.”  –Bob Barker

One of the very early game shows to be televised was called Truth or Consequences.  It actually first aired on radio from 1940-1957, then ran on television from 1950-1988.  The game show involved asking the contestant a question (the truth) and if they could not answer the question correctly, they would have to perform a crazy stunt– the consequence.  Ellen DeGeneres’s Game of Games certainly borrows from some of the ideas going way back to Truth or Consequences.

I sometimes think about our own personal truth or consequences.  What happens when we don’t face up to our truths as individuals, as families, as organizations, countries or societies?  What are the consequences when we don’t face up to those truths, are in denial of them, or embrace a falsehood to advance a personal belief or agenda? We often only delay the inevitable pain. We might suffer emotional or even physical pain from the dis-ease that is created.

There are always consequences.  Sometimes they are not immediate.  Ask the life-long smoker who contracts lung cancer after many years of smoking.  Sometimes the consequences are strikingly swift. Ask the person who, in an attempt to soothe himself from the pain of a relationship, drank a few drinks then drove down the road before hitting and killing a pedestrian.

Facing the truth can be painful, but the pain likely only increases over time when we can’t be honest with ourselves and others.  What is your truth and how might you or others be empowered by addressing your truth? What is your truth as a parent? As a spouse?  As a sibling or child? As a colleague? As a member of your community? Think of the happy consequence that can be made possible by embracing your truth. Then be sure your child learns to build the muscle of embracing truth– of living authentically. This is not a sign of weakness, it is one of strength.

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