TRUTH

Truth is almost universally regarded as exceedingly complex, but in its general application it usually proves in the final analysis to be very simple. Truth is always dignified and worth while regardless of its subject matter. The dictionary definition of truth is as follows: agreement with reality; eternal principle of right, or law of order; veracity; fidelity; fact.

In order to simplify the understanding of truth it is desirable that we consider it as an accurate statement of knowledge that has been proved to be correct. Opinions may be true but opinions, themselves, can never be regarded as truth without the proper proof. Expert knowledge may be true or partly true, but cannot be accepted as truth until proof has been made of this knowledge. In other words truth is not a statement of facts that can later be proved, but it must essentially be a statement of facts that have already been proved. If we would recognize this essential relation of proof to truth, we should avoid many pitfalls in our search for knowledge and incidentally in our search for happiness. There is an old saying that “The truth cannot be learned in a day.” As a matter of actual fact the truth and the whole truth is something that mankind will probably never be able to compass. We can only add to our knowledge of truth day by day and year by year.

It is the extent to which we desire to acquire this knowledge, and the methods pursued to obtain same, that counts in the life of the individual and of the group. The best examples that can be given of the unbiased and eager search for truth are the scientists who devote their lives to the search for scientific facts. They accept truth as such, regardless of their preconceived opinions and they deny the label of truth to those things which have not been proved. Some of them have even gone so far as to deny the existence of a Supreme Being, for the simple reason that they are unable to prove with their formulas the actual existence of the Creator.

They fail to take into their calculations certain facts which have been proved over countless years. One of them is the distinct and undeniable desire and need of all peoples at all times for a God to worship, and the absolutely necessary explanation of the motive power of the universe. If there is one thing that seems to be absolutely demonstrated it is that brains and the breath of life are necessary to recreate themselves in human beings. We have seen how mankind, with the use of a very small portion of the brain with which the Creator endowed the human race, has harnessed the forces of nature and made them obedient to the will of men. It is only common sense that is needed to perceive that there is an immeasurably higher mentality, and a Supreme will behind the creation of the universe and its continued existence and order.

When we leave the field of science, however, and turn to other activities of the human race we find that truth is searched for in the large majority of cases for a purely selfish purpose. The business man may be searching for a new product or invention with the ultimate aim of larger profits. The scholar maybe searching for evidence to bolster up his preconceived opinions. The politician may only be seeking for such truth as may enable him to attract votes, and the social reformer may be seeking for a method of making the people happy, comfortable, and prosperous without the aid of common everyday work or labor.

The Bible recites the fact that a man was told “In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread.” As the years and the centuries roll by the experience and the progress of mankind seem to point inescapably to one point, to such a remarkable extent that it should now be accepted as a fact. Happiness is the supreme goal of the human race and of each individual member thereof. It was happiness from which mankind was banished by the Creator when Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden. The fact that the human race was not at that time destroyed seems to indicate with absolute conviction that mankind should thereafter have the opportunity to earn the right to happiness as individuals. The majority of people seem to regard this allocation of labor as a punishment that was sent on the human race. If we could only recognize the fact that it was not a punishment, but a pathway to happiness, the world would be a far better place to live in.

The human race was not intended to stand still and do nothing. It was intended that at all times they should build for the future; build protection and defenses for safety, build homes for convenience and comfort, build up the race, itself, through the mating instinct, build up the mentality of the individuals, and finally and most importantly build up the character of the human race, so that they would deserve happiness. In order to build this character of the race it has been necessary for individuals to build up their personal characters, and it is the building of such characters that has been the purpose of all the rewards that practically all religions have offered to their followers. There is an aspiration of the human race for happiness that could have only been implanted by the Creator, Himself. It is universal and the only difference between human beings in this respect has to do with the difference in the methods they use in striving to attain happiness.

The criminal will rob and murder in order to secure things which he desires, while the noble individual will sacrifice many things to attain higher objectives, but all are interested in the same goal. This goal is to be reached through one avenue and one only. It has been reasonably proved that idleness is not only a bad thing for the individual but that his idleness is also a bad thing for other people. The world has been reasonably content and satisfied when the world has been at work building, and it has always been dissatisfied when a large portion of its population, either rich or poor, have been idle. It may be true that in certain individual instances there have been certain tribes or peoples who have seemed to be content and satisfied without a great deal of work. This particularly pertains to certain savage tribes in regions where nature has been lavish in furnishing food for the population, without a great deal of effort on the part of the individuals. It is safe to say, however, that civilized human beings, having tasted of the joys and benefits of greater knowledge, would never be content with the same things that satisfy the savage.

It is true that the acquisition of knowledge or of truth brings with it a certain amount of suffering as well as benefits, but men have proved that they have always been capable of suffering for the attainment of worth while objectives. Certain parts of the human race may retrograde and descend to a lower depth of civilization, but it has been impossible for them to be satisfied with their lower status. When we mention satisfaction, contentment and happiness we mean things that a man aspires to and will work for. If he is not willing to work for such objectives then it cannot truthfully be said that he aspires to them or even desires them. The true criterion of a man’s desires is the amount of work that he is willing to put forth to attain that desire. Work does not only mean labor from the standpoint of physical exertion, but it especially means the use of the brain and the heart. The brain gives direction to our physical work and the heart gives sincerity and emotional impulses. Some emotional impulses are incorrect and improper and should be subdued, but most of the work of the world has been done by men and women in all ages for the support of their loved ones, as well as themselves. This is a true and impelling motive, but it has as its background the endeavor to arrive at the goal of happiness.

Idleness usually creates discontent both in the idle person and those who see him idling. It is not intended that the impression be conveyed that an individual should work longer and harder than nature gave him the capacity for. It is intended to convey emphatically the idea that a certain reasonable amount of physical and mental labor should be concluded by every normal human being within each year. The hours do not have to be the same each day and the energy expended may vary from time to time. Regular hours, regular meals and regular recreation and resting times have been used as a convenience and benefit rather than imposed upon us by outside forces.

In the final analysis, however, work has been given to us as the road to happiness; physical work to keep our bodies in proper and normal condition and to help in building for the future; mental work to facilitate and expand our progress and our productivity; moral work, or heart impulses, is needed to round out the picture, to make us aspire to higher, better and nobler things, and to lift humanity to an ever higher plane of existence.

Physical work is more or less circumscribed by the inevitable realization of facts or the discovery of truth. We are practically only at the beginning of an understanding and a knowledge of our physical universe, but people are usually willing to accept proved physical facts without cavil or antagonism. In this field, therefore, there is only a question of the diligence with which we pursue knowledge and not its final acceptance when ascertained.

Mental truth is far more complex not because of the facts themselves, but entirely because of the mental reactions of millions of individuals. In other words a man can refuse to believe those things that he does not desire to believe, regardless of proof, or he can believe things that are not proved. This has entirely to do with the individual personal attitude toward truth and can never alter the facts themselves. Many intelligent men and women have decidedly different viewpoints about certain conclusions and certain evidence, regardless of the fact that these entirely opposing viewpoints or opinions are based upon the same set of facts. This is caused almost entirely by their superimposing upon the original foundation of truth, another foundation composed of individual prejudices, emotions or selfish desires. This automatically results in building the structure of their lives upon a false foundation and, which is equally important, this false foundation obscures or completely hides the real foundation of truth. It is not possible to discourse upon the thousands and millions of individual reactions, processes of thought, or ultimate conclusions in the minds of that particular number of individuals. It is sufficient to say that it is vitally necessary that we be truly sincere in our search for the real truth, and that we endeavor to keep our personal desires and interests from obscuring what would otherwise be plainly evident. Moral work, while gaining ground steadily over the centuries, some times in particular periods seems hopelessly muddled and confused. We are at this time passing through such a period.

In the early stages of civilization the welfare of the people was given scant consideration by those in high authority. Today we have a worldwide desire on the part of civilized governments to convey the impression that those in authority are deeply concerned with the welfare of the people. It is a strange and peculiar thing that all of the schemes and experiments put forward by reformers, regardless of whether they be called dictators or politicians, are put forward ostensibly in the interest of the common man, the average individual, and yet the result is in every case to take something away from the common people rather than to add to their benefits.

In Russia and in America the consumer, which represents everyone, is made to pay the price of all experiments. The individuals who benefit are only the small group that happen to be in power or authority, or fortunately placed to profit. In every case there has been a lowering of the living standard of the population and not a better living standard.

The World War and its aftermath of uncertainty, speculation and increased desire to get something for nothing, undoubtedly have had a great deal to do with the lowered conditions of the average citizen of the civilized nations, but in its broader sense this condition has been brought about due to our departure from the road to happiness. In the case of the World War a large part of the most energetic and active members of the population departed from work and started fighting. After the war was over there was a long period before these men who survived were placed in the avenues of work. There was a certain period thereafter when general progress was made, and the world seemed to be recovering gradually from the effects of the war. This was not true in all countries, but it was true in a general sense. In America particularly there seemed to be a rapid recovery of prosperity and it looked as if we were in for a long period of increasing prosperity. Profits were quite large in business and stock speculation increased rapidly with prices rapidly mounting higher. Taxes were sufficient to run the government and in addition to reduce Federal indebtedness. The fever of speculation increased rapidly and many farsighted individuals realized that stock prices were too high and that a crash was inevitable. When this event occurred in October Nineteen Twenty-nine, the effects were felt immediately in every avenue of business.

Business began to retrench and unemployment became a rapidly mounting problem. Naturally, when hundreds of thousands of workers ceased to be producers, their purchasing power declined and the effect of this on business was further retrenchment and more idle employees. The vicious circle continued until there were considerably more than ten million individuals who had lost their jobs. These events are not remarked upon from the standpoint of a financial history but merely in order to show the importance of regular and steady work to the average man and woman. The fighting millions in the war were off the road to happiness because they were not working at a productive job. The idle millions can be considered as not a result of the depression, but the cause of it.

Those who are interested in the welfare of the citizens of their own country should lend their efforts to furnishing work to every able-bodied individual. The heart goes out to those individuals who are suffering, but it must be borne in mind that it is the method employed to end this suffering that decides whether an individual is really interested in the welfare of his fellow men, or whether he is merely saying so for the effect that it might cause. Work is what the people need and to offer them anything else as a substitute is to prolong their misery and humiliation and add to the burdens of the rest of the citizens who are employed.

Regardless of all subterfuges and explanations, it is an inescapable fact that those who are employed must support, directly or indirectly, those who are not employed, if they are to live at all. The government and the wealthy classes have no income sufficient to possibly support the idle millions. In fact, the Government, itself, has to be supported by the people. If we are searching for moral truth we must inevitably conclude that the chief duty that we have as regards our fellow citizens is to see that they are given the opportunity to work and thus remain independent. Emergencies may require that a man stay in bed, either at home or in a hospital, when he is really ill, but to endeavor to insist that he remain idle for an undetermined length of time merely because he has been idle through an enforced situation would be considered not only cruel, but idiotic.

It had been demonstrated in Nineteen thirty-one and Nineteen thirty-two that the chief obstacle to a return to normal conditions was the idle millions whose purchasing power had dwindled to practically nothing. The natural thing to do would have been for Government and business to get together and provide them with jobs so that they could support themselves. Practically every man realizes that Government and business have been drawing apart rather than getting together. It is the business world that is supposed to furnish jobs for the idle and it would seem the natural thing for Government to ask business how it can help in making these jobs possible. Everyone realizes that these things have not been done, but most people do not realize that Government and business must working cooperation and mutually helpful agreement

to create work for so many idle men and women. It is a sufficiently hard task even with this

cooperation, but is practically impossible without it. There are many individuals who never have worked and never intend to work but we do not believe that it would be the truth to say that they never will work. We are of the firm conviction that no able-bodied man should be allowed to live upon his fellow men and that he should be compelled to at least work sufficiently to pay for his own living.

The measure of the sincerity of our regard for the welfare of our fellow men, and especially our fellow citizens, is the measure of our efforts to provide them with real work and a real job, not some other time, but right now, and thus keep alive the real spirit of America within the hearts of our citizens. Independence has been our heritage, it has been the source of our personal pride and self-respect, and without it other things have been valueless. Let us be sincere therefore, and not only sincere, but active in our personal and individual effort, no matter how small, to furnish these fellow citizens of ours with the work that will make them independent and give them back their pride and self respect. Work that will enable them once again to hold up their heads and to participate in the progress and prosperity that must inevitably come to us when work is resumed all over the Nation. Let each of these individuals have the heritage that is rightfully his, the right to work, to have a real job, and to hold up his head and be proud of being a free American citizen.

H. B. MONJAR  – February, 1936