Telling The Truth

Ludwig Wittgenstein

No one can speak the truth; if he has still not mastered himself. He cannot speak it;–but not because he is not clever enough yet. The truth can be spoken only by someone who is already at home in it; not by someone who still lives in falsehood and reaches out from falsehood towards truth on just one occasion.

-borrowed by way of Pratie, via Scrivener.

Actually this post is inspired by ongoing discussion over @ Maxed Out Mama on the Terri Shiavo case.

We are shoveled so much propaganda each and every day it can become burdensome to sift out the truth. Admit it: burdensome. But there is a Bible truth that we ought to keep in mind, and this is that we should not grow weary in well-doing.

We should seek the highest good and that means threading out the debates of day to get at …. truth. We ought to prioritize truth, above dollars, above power, and above self-preservation. Because when we discover what is true it is better for us all.
So far this is an abstract ranting, isn’t it?

Well. let’s bring it on home. What is the truth in Terri Schiavo’s case? The truth is we keep buying into the idea that we are gods. That we can use technology and debates to determine who lives and dies, for how long and what makes them a worthwhile human being. We are playing the role and the cost is coming due, but perhaps we can put the brakes on some of this. Perhaps there is still a little time. We are continuing it by playing out the whole thing in the courts of Nero’s Circus, the thumbs up or down of the crowds- it worked for OJ. Yet, we should be playing it out long before this, in the choices we are making in our society.

How do you protect yourself, first? Use the law as far as the law is compatiable to your ideals to draw up a living will, to give medical power of attorney to trustworthy individuals, and keep communication open so they know you and what you really want…. not what you cry out in duress. Lots of people say they want to die, when what they want is help with their problems. Do your loved ones have the power to act in your behalf? Do they have knowledge of what that is?

Educate yourself about the prevailing perpectives of the medical community. when you are told that a surgeon just wants to give you hope because that is his business…. is that true? And if it is, is that in the best interest? If it isn’t, does it make sense to go to the hospital? These are real questions, without any forcefed personal philosophy. These are the things you and a loved one may face. Are you prepared?

Terri Schiavo was once an every day person in her prime of youth and life. She and her family didn’t expect this turn of events. How is it that the professionals are in such dissarray on this? It is the everyday reality of how these things work in our present state of health care and of social philosophy.

It is we who are just waking up. I think Maxed Out Mama put things well when she said that the right to die is not the right to kill. Doctors are not the last word, nor legislators or judges. The Schiavo case is exposing the whole system, and it is with great sadness that we view these things. Because they happen with regularity, according to the information that this case is bringing to our review.

If you excuse yourself on abortion, and taking that life, you will have it harder to not excuse yourself on ending life for the handicapped or the elderly- and you or a loved one may well find yourselves in one of those positions. I have witnessed first hand the “bravery” of “just let me die” and the contrarian example of desiring medical help. I have seen it. It is the result of living the lie, but never adjusting oneself to it that it should ever become ones truth. Perhaps something is so basically a lie that it cannot be adjusted to by ones self. Should the desire to take back the power over ones own life come when one has handed the reins over to others…. is it going to be possible ? Or will the protests then find themselves suffocated underneath the many layers of …precedence ?

3 thoughts on “Telling The Truth”

  1. Stupidly sliding down the slippery slope…
    Why are we surprised at how low we have deigned to stoop?!

  2. I think we break things down without seeing where the foundations are laid- undermining our society in ways we don’t expect.

    I think our only way back on track as a diverse society- which has different personal convictions- is if we all agree to preserve life to the utmost that we are able.

    Perhaps money really is the root of all evil- though as Americans we tend to doubt that. Maybe we have exalted money above all other sorts of criteria. And this is why we make these horrendous ethical decisions…

  3. Government has no business in moral decisions of this nature. Only the family has a right to decide and the closest family is the husband. This poor woman has suffered enough. Let her die with dignity! She is being used as a pawn by folks who insist on putting their morality on her — shame on them. She has spent years on a feeding tube — don’t you get it? Do you think she should be kept alive, suffering, for your religious ideals? Would you want to be kept alive indefinitely like that? I sure don’t.

    Get off your teary-eyed soapboxes, folks — and if you want to save lives, why don’t you start with your own — BY GETTING ONE!


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