Is Truth Subjective and Based on Interpretation?

Sivaramakrishnan AStarred Page By Sivaramakrishnan A, 10th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/31alz-dq/
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Removing injustices within our society will usher in peace and coexistence. Our leaders should have the courage to fight for truth and justice relentlessly. Our future might well depend on how we succeed in our endeavor towards this righteous path. Wisdom lies in inclusive approach to common issues and not by interpreting them to suit one's own needs.

Towards Justice and Fair Play

Gandhi wrote his autobiography titled - The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Truth means fact or reality but the latter two terms are also based on interpretations. Sadly, we see truth through different lenses. In the end, truth becomes a casualty often when the powerful have their way. Otherwise, the world will not have such disparity in income and the wealthy have their way even at the expense of the poor. Some lives are worth saving but others do not seem to count. Countries tend to lose themselves in hypocrisy – one rule for them and another for others. The arguments put forth to accuse others can be pointed at them too but facts get twisted and truth becomes the casualty. This has become routine and being taken for granted. The issues pitting America against Russia and China are due to different interpretations of truth and facts. Truth proves a moving target all the time and exploited to serve one’s interests. So, are we still experimenting with truth and justice? Can we get nearer to truth so that it is universally acceptable?

Travesty of Truth

The main issue afflicting international relations is some are seen to be above law or the law applies favorably and selectively to them. America has put pressure successfully to disclose bank accounts that its citizens hold in other countries as the latter and financial institutions are beholden to them. Sadly, the same countries and institutions refuse to cooperate with others that are mired in corruption. It is not a travesty of justice and truth? The injustices will not only be perpetuated and the fault lines will become more pronounced, but does anyone care? Is it not time to make justice and truth universally applicable? They should be above politics and why should anyone fight shy of disclosing wealth unless it is illegally acquired? If US citizen’s world-wide bank accounts can come under the scanner, why not make it applicable universally? Let truth and justice be served fairly.

Equality and Fairness

Though legal, banking and accounting standards are converging there are still loopholes when it comes to sharing data. The right to information should become more pervasive so that injustice and corruption are exposed as a matter of routine. There should no scope for a person of one country to hide in another with illegal wealth providing a safe passage.

With technology it has become easier to fight for equality and fairness. The world will be much more peaceful if everyone has belief in the system that truth and fairness will prevail. Countries are already cooperating but the fault lines are thrown up when some try to be more than equal partners or take unilateral action and throw their weight around. That acts as a gauntlet thrown at others who are forced to flex their muscles – it is ego, pride and challenge for leaders at their helm. Whatever be the reasons, basic human characteristics by which a person, country are measured come into play.

One World and Sustainability

Every action of countries should underline the basic premise that their actions will have international ramifications, reverberate around the world. They will be judged and others can imitate them. What they do – others can also do with equal freedom. The big powers have added responsibility to act with reason and maturity so that they have a moral authority to deal with others. When they act unilaterally it opens a Pandora’s Box in terms of setting a bad example.

Are our actions sustainable? It becomes easier when they respect truth and fairness and not based on might is right. In international relations we see truth becoming a casualty when it is interpreted to suit one’s convenience and in the end proves a moving target. So every problem between countries becomes contentious and for big powers – a challenge thrown at them. Our leaders act petty minded and play to the gallery like village bullies! The only way is to make our way of life sustainable in every way and not be led by the vicissitudes of mood swings and petty politics. Why keep testing another’s resolve?

Cooperation Based on Truth

When we abide by truth hypocrisy will disappear. Truth is easy to interpret and when in doubt – do unto others as you would have them do unto you - will help us along to stay in the right path. Our problems are triggered by applying truth selectively and treating some as of lesser worth. The primordial human instinct to assert one’s might torpedoes truth and justice. Truth should be interpreted without fear or favor for it to prevail; then only a new era of peace, justice and prosperity will dawn on us. It is not possible to fool some of the people most of the time and certainly not all the people all the time. Everyone will react to fair play and truth including leaders of big powers. Like Gandhi showed the way, our leaders should never lose sight of truth and, most importantly, it is not one way for them and another for others. Truth has the power to transcend all borders to usher in peace.

Image Credits: All Images are from Public Domain - Wikimedia Commons

Links to my recent posts:


Why Burden the Poor in the Name of Compliance?

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America, Casualty, China, Corruption, Fact, Fault Lines, Gandhi, Hypocrisy, Injustice, Interpretation, Justice, Law, Lens, One World, Pandoras Box, Reality, Russia, Scanner, Subjective, Sustainability, Truth

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
Professional accountant. General take on life, business, international news comments

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
10th May 2014 (#)

Powerful message my friend, but can we remove these hurdles?

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
10th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Mark for your moderation and encouragement through awarding star merit. Like Gandhi was keeping truth close to his chest our leaders should also understand that only truth will give them wisdom to tackle our issues of the day and finally unite us - siva

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author avatar Ptrikha
13th May 2014 (#)

But somehow it seems like most of the people in modern society lack the courage to follow the path of truth and we have a situation which we can term as
"Jhoote Ka Bolbala"- or the
"Reign of falsehood"

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th May 2014 (#)

Thanks for your take Ptrikha. I feel 99% follow truth like I do as it rests so easily on our conscience. However, it may not reward us materially, but more in every other way including keeping away those who value another for the wealth they have - siva

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author avatar vandana7
10th May 2014 (#)

If we don't there will be revolts and war like situations to change us. It is for us to become wise without those or face consequences, right?

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Vandana for sharing your thoughts. We have seen it all in history, been there done that - the consequences of our actions or even inaction. I read about the recollection recently of last few survivors of atomic bombings during Second World War. I could feel the searing hit in my soul after it pierced my body. One mother was holding on to the headless body of her infant as she ran deliriously. And to keep reading all the headlines, our leaders are still blinded by ego. We should just say - HOLD IT - enough is enough! siva

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author avatar vandana7
15th May 2014 (#)

I think inability to negotiate at the table is failure of the leaders. People should only send those leaders up there that know no anger and that are reasonable at all times. They may not understand 100 percent of everything, because human mind has its own limitations, and there is always something complex for average person to understand. But not to understand what is inflammatory and is likely to kill our own babies is criminal.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th May 2014 (#)

Most issues are created by us only. We prove our own worst enemies. Even leaders of big powers play with fire and drag the whole world to disaster when they cross the line. After all, they are just humans like you and me. False pride and ego have been our bane right through. Gandhi's words hold true always - an eye for eye will make the whole world blind, but we never learn from history; some are even ready to die for their Gods and go to heaven with blood in their hands! siva

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author avatar ritzwitz
10th May 2014 (#)

Gandhiji lived in an era where leaders were identified by their values and principles, unfortunately, today leaders are identified by their power and scams. The only solution is Visionaries and intellectuals should join politics and make their presence felt.

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author avatar vandana7
10th May 2014 (#)

Getting inside is always a problem. The press starts searching for something to bring down the person. It is also possible from outside if all educated people decided not to work until some laws were changed.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thanks again Vandana. The young have to step forward. The tipping point is nigh like it was when the Iron curtain fell and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin mounted a tank in defiance. I remember a communist leader deprecatingly telling that he was a big fella, not difficult to find him a job - meaning manual, heavy lifting, job was awaiting him in jail! And Deng Xiaoping seized the initiative in China to transform its economy to almost equal and in some respects overtake America. Deng knew the people wanted the change.

The time is ripe for curbing the excesses of the capitalist system that anything goes. The wealthy have to account for their wealth but leave alone the 99% - siva

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Sad indeed to read armchair critics denouncing those like Gandhi who gave us equality and freedom. Never forget they had to mobilize their followers through cajoling to screaming themselves hoarse. Mandela readily forgave his tormentors and even invited his jailer to his presidential inauguration. They were real leaders of their times. We know what works, so let us implore our elected leaders to do what is right and send them a strong unequivocal message. Wars hurt the already deprived common citizens everywhere - siva

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author avatar vandana7
29th May 2014 (#)

Election results in India have indicated that everybody in India wants a change, but formulating just exactly what is the difficult thing. Today, Modi sent instructions to ministers not to recruit their family members, but what stops minister of finance from recruiting the relative of minister for defense, and minister for defense returning the favor? Nothing. Only honesty will help I suppose.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Ritzwitz. My reply below was in response to yours - siva

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author avatar Ptrikha
13th May 2014 (#)

That has slowly started happening, yet it seems that the so called Intellectuals and Academicians are not above immoral acts and way of working.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th May 2014 (#)

Thanks again Ptrikha. The mountain to climb is not democracy and freedom but truth. Once you make it a habit the reward is bliss - nothing fazes us in life. How many of those who defraud others get peaceful sleep? Those who cheat will get their comeuppance sooner than they think - siva

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
10th May 2014 (#)

Thought provoking read.Thanks for your share Siva.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Randhir for your continuing support - siva

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
10th May 2014 (#)

I always love what you write siva...getting into the heart you do...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Carolina. No effort should be spared to highlight the injustices till the message rings loud and clear - siva

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author avatar Helen Thomas
10th May 2014 (#)

Thanks for this powerful and provocative message ~ Siva. For sure only truth will give wisdom to tackle our issues of the day and finally unite us. Problem is ~ too many of the leaders ~ as well as the rank and file members of society refuse to accept THE TRUTH.

Jesus made this assertion in verse six of the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John: "I am THE WAY ~ THE TRUTH ~ and ~ THE LIFE. No man comes to the Father, but by Me."

Intellectually, I agree with your premise and I do not wish to seem pessimistic ~ because I'm not. However ~ It seems from the above referenced Scripture ~ that ~ we will not be able to enjoy peace and unity on earth until we ~ individually ~ accept and allow JESUS ~ the Prince of Peace ~ to rule in our hearts.

Thanks for sharing this brilliant piece. May God's Love and Grace be revealed to you in no uncertain terms.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Helen. I welcome and respect your belief. However, wars are fought with religious undertones playing a part. I read, rather amusingly, someone telling - we don't mind dying fighting as later our God will lick yours! Again, few were brainwashed into suicidal bombings under the premise 72 virgins were waiting for them in heaven - should have proved quite tempting to them!
Heaven later sent an SOS that they were running short of them!

I believe that we should just do what is right and that no one need tell us - we come properly wired. But over time some are led astray though they will always be a minority. They are able to inflict more damage because a greedy bunch makes money by supplying them with the wherewithal. If our leaders and everyone else fight for truth without compromise, then the door to enlightenment and a new era will open - siva

The only way is to fight for universal truth interpret so that it makes sense to all. Our leaders should cease playing with fire. We are borne with enough commonsense to live and let live - siva

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th May 2014 (#)

Truth and honor...always your hallmark siva...beautiful written these powerful words of reason...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Delicia. I appreciate your words pf encouragement. Might is right will not hold water increasingly - one has to walk the talk! siva

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author avatar Connie McKinney
11th May 2014 (#)

Well done and so inspiring as usual, Siva.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Connie. We should make the Age of Enlightenment happen through the dint of hard work and setting an example that is worthy of others to follow - siva

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author avatar Retired
12th May 2014 (#)

Very powerful message really. Makes a lot of sense. We really should think carefully and make the right decisions.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Wiki - honesty is the best policy - what we sow, we should be prepared to reap - siva

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author avatar johnbee
12th May 2014 (#)

That was a good share. Very inspirational. Well done!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th May 2014 (#)

So happy to read your appreciation Johnbee. Thank you indeed - siva

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author avatar M G Singh
12th May 2014 (#)

Siva, Yes it is. Dont forget that Dr. Goebbels said"a lie repeated a 100 times become a truth"

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Madan. Hypocrisy will boomerang on us - the big powers should show the rest the way by setting an example - siva

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
12th May 2014 (#)

Maybe, dear Siva..the big powers are following the wrong examples and falling into the same ditches together .
As Helen has said ... Only Jesus is the Truth ... and that means He is the example to follow ...and He will never lead us into darkness as His Word is a Light to our paths .
While there is greed and hatred in this world , man will war against his fellow man ... but , ultimately, God will have the last word .... which no man will be able to gainsay .
God bless you with His peace today my friend .
Stella ><

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Stella. The big powers' actions cannot even fool a child who will shout - the emperor is naked! When super powers accuse one another of aggression - let he who has not sinned cast the first stone - should be the refrain. And to think we are fighting one another even without reason pains me, and I can only imagine what our Mother Earth goes through as all our actions negate her nurturing to keep us and those yet to come alive! I have my doubts whether we merit any further mercy from God. We have proved time and again we cannot coexist - siva

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
13th May 2014 (#)

I believe the earth is groaning under the weight of sin ,in whatever form ....such as , hatred , murder , greed and every form of abuse and abject cruelty ....dear Siva ..
I also believe that one day God will say ' Enough ' ..and that will be a dreadful day for those who refuse to repent before it is too late .
God bless you my friend .
Stella ><

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Stella. The magnificent playground we are provided with is once in a lifetime! We have queued up eons to get here. But we prove to be the most ungrateful of all species.

I am reminded of a person with an obnoxious attitude. His colleagues could no longer stand his arrogant know-all attitude. One took the cudgels to confront him on their behalf. He went up and looked at his eyes, as others waited in bated breath, and told him point blank - your attitude really sucks and we cannot stand it any longer. His reply was prompt - I know that also!

I feel we know what we do but are we willing to change course before the Creator clicks "delete" on Human species? siva

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author avatar C.D. Moore
12th May 2014 (#)

It's hard to be conscious and be aware the unconscious thoughts and ignorant behaviors all around. Thank you for continuing to speak out, Siva

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th May 2014 (#)

Thank you C D Moore for thinking aloud. Truth becomes a casualty when we try to interpret it to cater to our selfish ways. Just like injustices of the past became history after relentless fight through words and action, let us hope we overcome glaring ones staring at us on a daily basis to start living - siva

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author avatar alamaymay
13th May 2014 (#)

sometimes truth is in the hands of the people who can manipulate it... as what the others said only God has or knows the truth

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Alamaymay. I believe it is not difficult to understand truth but it is swayed by motivation - from fairness to greed. That is why polygraph tests are employed to determine whether answers are truthful.

However, I do concede that history is not recorded truthfully and subject to interpretation of interested parties and those who prevailed due to power and success - siva

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author avatar WOGIAM
13th May 2014 (#)

A thoughtful article as usual, I wish so called leaders and those with public responsibilities would read and think about such issues.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Wogiam for your kind words of encouragement. For our leaders, the basic truth is to do what is right for the 99% as the rich can take care of themselves! Once the majority is given a stake in society, we will usher in the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Entitlement will be history! May truth prevail - siva

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author avatar Michelle Stanley
14th May 2014 (#)

Very thought provoking Siva. While some persons try to instill a code of values and attitude into our society, there are others who ignore it, preferring to do things their way, which is often out of greed and selfishness.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Michelle for your support. Yes, some are problem creators leaving a mess for others to live with and clear up. Our leaders should be problem solvers but creating them prove easier for them! siva

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author avatar n.c.radomes
15th May 2014 (#)

Bravo! Siva, you've correctly hit the nail right on the head. I mean you drive home the points to your readers through the summary.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Radomes, you are indeed generous with your encouragement. Truth is always under attack and is used as a tool to suit some. The ongoing Spartly issue is a case in point - is it so difficult to share them or leave it as it is like it was for millions of years? Okay, if need be, why not share the bounty with others too than trying to deny others completely? siva

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author avatar Subra
16th May 2014 (#)

Dear Siva
Truth is never easy to interpret because as you have pointed out, no two people can look at a subject objectively. It's very subjective and so what is truth to one person is hypocrisy to another. Politicians claim to know the truth as they have hidden agendas that only benefit them at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve. So as you know what they say as truth is hypocrisy to us. Therefore to what extent truth has the power to transcend all borders to usher in peace depends very much on the character of those who swear by it. There is a very thin line between subjective truth and objective truth, because there is no such thing as subjective truth. For example, to me truth is that God exists but to some body else God does not exist. To both they are truths in different ways. A very debatable topic anyway!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th May 2014 (#)

Thanks dear Subra for your analysis. My main issue is the angst I feel when leaders of countries interpret truth to suit their interests and even ready to go to war. Talking down on others without an iota of truth backing their words has been the bane of the powerful. He/she who speaks the truth and eschews ego finds bliss and touch others positively. But politicians tend to bend the truth most and also the super rich who are always short of funds when it comes to paying others, including legitimate taxes, though they never fail to add to their billions!

Country borders are also used by politicians for stoking nationalism. The row between China and Japan and other countries is a case in point over South China sea islands, also the Ukraine crisis. If there is a bounty to be exploited, do it jointly - after all country borders disappear when one goes up - either when alive like astronauts do, or hereafter! The ultimate truth is creation is maya and doing our part as co-creators serves everyone well. Dividing people is anathema to the truth of creation - siva

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author avatar Mariah
18th May 2014 (#)

Every word you write has the truth at heart.. once again a most impressive and inspiring share, getting right to the core of the matter Siva, thank you

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah for your continuing support. Let us break the hold of hypocrites who do not follow what they preach. It is one rule for them and another for others. Every day we fail to uphold truth will be a day wasted. And as big countries are saber rattling and flexing their muscles the world will not sleep in peace. Our leaders should take a hard look at their actions and ponder for the sake of 99% who want to be left alone - siva

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author avatar Feisty
19th May 2014 (#)

There is truth and then there is justification. Leaders on every level in countries the world over justify their actions and decisions based on their perceptions.

It is a true travesty that truth is so elusive.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th May 2014 (#)

Well said Feisty, thank you. When leaders want to regain popularity they find outside "enemies" to shore up their base. Putin's rating has gone up after the Crimean issue and also China bullying the smaller countries around them. They think having peaceful existence is a weakness! Why should anyone go on a bombing spree when those killed are the innocents mostly? siva

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author avatar Rajnandini
21st May 2014 (#)

truly said siva...!!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st May 2014 (#)

Thank you Rajnandini. We should look at truth in a way that benefits the 99% and then that will benefit the 1% too, but not the other way! siva

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author avatar spirited
22nd May 2014 (#)

If some apply truth selectively do they really have truth, or understand it.

When you really live from truth you treat all, as you said, in the way that you would also like to be treated, ie from that truth.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd May 2014 (#)

Thanks Spirited. Even countries twist truth to suit their need and greed. They would have got away with murder, in fact many, but that does not prevent them from accusing others for the same deeds. Both America and Russia speak from their point of view about Ukraine without seeking common ground and truth becomes a casualty. China was saying it will never covet others' lands, but now they are also blinded by greed to explore oil far away from their shore that lie closer to Philippines, Vietnam and Japan. Why not just share with them too and close the chapter? Obviously, truth becomes pliable and interpreted to suit own needs - siva

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author avatar snerfu
23rd May 2014 (#)

Truth was always subjective for those who did not have it. Good article sir.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Snerfu for your telling comment. When we speak the truth and make it a habit, there is nothing to fear in life and hereafter. All the issues this world are due to our using truth selectively - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
28th May 2014 (#)

Wonderful X 3.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Phyl for your support. Most of our ills are due to our twisting truth to suit our selfish interests - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
29th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Siva, you are an inspiration to us all. Blessings.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th May 2014 (#)

Thank you Kingwell. I am touched by your generous words - siva

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