We need fearless criticism of dishonest men, and of honest men on any point where they go wrong; but even more do we need criticism which shall be truthful both in what it says and in what it leaves unsaid—truthful in works and truthful in the impression it designs to leave upon the readers’ or hearers’ minds.” – Theodore Roosevelt, May 12, 1900 The Eighth and Ninth Commandment in Politics
In honor of T.R.’s birthday over the weekend, please allow me the indulgence of an obscure quote of his. Since it is nearing election time here and all around us is a cacophony of half-truths, calls of “liar!” and more, I felt compelled to remind us to speak truth to errors of all sorts.
T.R. did not assume our modern “truth is in the eye of the beholder,” relativism. He honestly meant truthfulness to an accepted standard.
We, cogs in modern organizations, must find our accepted standards, reclaim truth, and fearlessly criticize the dishonest men and the honest men where they go wrong.
If we don’t, who will?
Why not try?
Photo: Kevin H.