This post has been exclusively written for Coca Cola's Kinley Mineral Water, in association with IndiBlogger.
The first lesson we all learn in schools is, "Honesty is the best policy", and truth, perhaps, is the foundation of this policy. We are advised from day one to speak truth, truth and only truth, and yet, we do not (or can not?) follow this policy all the time. Mahatma Gandhi is once known to have said that we must follow the situation truth. For example, if a set of thieves ask you where the treasure is, better guide them in the wrong direction.
My experiments (or encounters?) with truth have been many. Oftentimes, when things are not in our favor, speaking truth seems to only add more trouble in the moment, but in the long run, it will be of great help. It is always a good policy to accept mistakes, be humble and speak the facts. After all, the facts can't be hidden for a long time. In the end, everything comes out in the open.
I was the goalie for the school football team and we were preparing for the inter school matches. I was made the goalkeeper in the last moment as the person who was set to be the goalie faced some serious injuries. So, we had this final practice match with a local football team, and were under tremendous pressure to win it. It was a prestige issue for the school, and all the dignitaries were present on this occasion. We wanted to show that we are right team to go to the inter school matches.
The match went on well in the first half. The local team was a very strong one. They had spent 3-4 years playing football and some players had played state level matches as well. We were at 1-1 after the first half. They had scored the first goal in the first minute and our moral was down. We scored our goal, partially by luck, as a result of a penalty kick.
In the second half, both the teams had become very aggressive. We scored a goal and took the lead, 2-1. There were some attacks on our goalpost. In an instance, the ball was kicked towards me and I caught it. However, I fell down very close to the goal post boundary. The opposition claimed that I was inside the goalpost when I took the ball and we claimed that I was outside. I was in a dilemma. I felt (or knew?) that I had taken the ball inside the line, and thus it should be a goal in their favor. The issue went on for quite some time and the umpire put the ball in my court. We had no time to lose, and I took advantage of this moment and declared that I took it clean. So, we ended up winning the match. While everyone celebrated, I kept a pale face and really did not enjoy the moment. The guilt had hit me.
It took time to get rid of this guilt. It also affected my confidence and stability to some extent. Finally, in the inter school matches, we faced similar situations, where umpire decisions went against us, and it was like, a tit for tat. In the end, we said, "Everything is fair in love and war", and the scoreboard is the truth, as far as the sport is concerned. When I saw scoreboard in our favor in the finals, I was thrilled. We all were. That was the moment, we had won, not just the match, but much more.
They say, "You can't change the truth, but it can change you".