There Are Two Camps When It Comes To Truth (And It's Time To Choose)
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Have you ever come across the description of something or someone that turned out to be more, for the lack of a better word, aspirational than it actually is in real life?
I have personally experienced this in quite a lot of places recently- be it a superfluous pitch that’s been e-mailed to me, an overtly gushing review by an Instagram “influencer,” or, heck, even profiles on dating apps.
But it’s the increasing prevalence of such exaggerations in the entrepreneurial arena and the business world at large that I’ve been finding particularly worrisome of late.
Maybe it’s the frantic race to make up for time lost as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that’s causing many among us -enterprises included- to paint a faux picture of what we can do or provide, as opposed to what we can actually bring to the table.
This isn’t exactly anything new though- after all, entrepreneurs especially have been known to over promise or oversell in terms of what their business can offer, and then either give it their all to deliver, or just fail miserably.
But this is not the issue that I am troubled by in our current circumstances. My problem is with those individuals and entities that are well-aware of their limitations, and yet, still choose to inflate the truth to suit their particular purposes, without a care about who or what gets in the line of fire as a result of their actions.
There’s a subtle distinction between the two aforementioned scenarios, and understanding it is important- thankfully, we have American philosopher Harry Frankfurt to explain the difference between them.
According to him, the former can be called lying, which occurs when individuals know the truth, and misrepresent it. On the other hand, the latter represents “bullsh*tters,” who don’t care what the truth is. I’d like to think that keeping this differentiation in mind is important in our interactions with those around us.
When an individual or business is feeding you drivel, they’re deliberately choosing to disregard the truth for reasons that are almost certainly linked to ensuring their personal gain, and no one else’s; that’s a showcase of their apathy, plain and simple.
And this is what I’d like to ask all of you to keep in mind the next time you come across flashy jargon, tantalizing terminologies, or extravagant pitches. Don’t fall for it at face value, and instead, take the time to drill into the logic and reality of it all, and then analyze for the value that they’re truly able to deliver.
Rest assured that making this effort is almost certain to be worth your while- after all, given everything we’ve gone through in the past couple of months, we certainly don’t need any more, well, bullsh*t.