The simple definition of truth


Yesterday a goat-herder walked in the farm with his eight goats. I was annoyed that he dared enter the farm for grazing his goats with out asking permission. So, I called him to come to where I was sitting on a cot with all the intentions of yelling at him. He walks in, an old man, Natthu, of around 75 years. His clothes were torn and his shoes had holes. But, he had the presence of personality. A proud man.

Instead of yelling, I shared the fruits I was eating and engaged him in a discussion about his life, family, village etc. Somethings he mentioned made me ask him that how does he know that it is true. His reply was simple. If it comes from some one he trusted then it must be true. Unlike us, he had no facility to verify the truthfulness of any statement. He had only heard of internet, was functionally illiterate, rarely traveled, and even less frequently interacted with outsiders. His life was simple and limited to his animals and the half jungle around the farm.

Wow! why did I not think of it before. Since ages, the religious and political leaders must have known this simple fact. The truth for many like Natthu is simply where it comes from. A person of trust is the ultimate decider of what is true. Not the independent verification with facts and analysis.  For Natthu, the person of trust was one who goes to temple, helps poor, maintains peace, not a thief or a hoodlum, and has succeeded economically.

Remember that people like Natthu represent majority of the population thus the fate of any democracy.

All of a sudden, the acts of so many, in power or in pursuit of it, became clearer. I learned more in that short half an hour meetings than the hours debating this with professors and intellectuals or pouring over the works of so many so called thought leaders.

Thank you Natthu!

There are 2 comments in this article:

  1. 12/12/2014Judge but only positively - Mani Agrawal says:

    […] was people to say only positive things. If they are negative then still just say the positives. Make up stuff if need. At the same time she reserved the right to express negative things about others but not in front […]

  2. 19/04/2016Shashank Rawat says:

    Its so true! Such a simple statement, yet so powerful.
    Thinking from someone else’s perspective can provide us with powerful and useful insight…yet we do it so rarely. Understanding a situation or problem from someone else’s point of view could help us immensely, both in our personal AND professional lives, yet we do it sparingly.

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