The Truth-Sayer (a story/ish)

The Truth-Sayer

One day a year, the old man walked down the path from his cave and set up a tent at the bottom of the mountain so the villagers could ask him any question they wished to. It never took long for the crowd to form. He sighed, but he knew it was the price he paid for being left alone the rest of the year. So he centered himself and went to work.

What were the typical questions they asked?:

…..

I have a love, one I adore so well. But when I ask my love if they are true to me, my heart says they lie when they say yes.

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…….

My parents are so tender and so kind. They tell me I can be anything I wish to be. Is this true? Is my future bright?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…..

My boss says he values my effort and enjoys my company. And is quite sure he could never replace me. But has no more money to feed my family. Is this true?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…….

The head man of the village has come to us to say he needs more money to build homes and fight the good fight that protects us from famine, pestulance and war. He says he’s tried everything he can to reduce our taxes, but this year he needs more. Is that true?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

……

My child has told me he is innocent of all those who care for him have claimed he has done. Yet I see a gleam in his eye when they list his bad deeds. Is he telling the truth or are they?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…….

The villagers went back to their homes, feeling a bit diminished in his wisdom and zeal. They looked at the villagers with a jaundiced eye from that day on.

And the old man went back up the mountain to his cave. To greet his son who asked about his day, knowing full well what the answer would be, since it was all his father was able to say since the stroke:

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

His son might be accused of deception by the villagers, but whether by delusion or truth, his father wasn’t wrong. At some point in their life, everybody lies. You just need to know the reason, and determine if you can live with it.

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