When I was writing the review for Özge Ertanin’s art
exhibition in last issue of Cyprus Observer with the title ‘Art is my way to
the truth’ I asked myself: What is the truth?
Generally speaking, truth is on the one hand side the
quality of faithfulness, fidelity, loyality, sincerity, veracity and on the
other the agreement with fact or reality. But when we say, she was looking for
the truth, then it becomes more pointed, it becomes something more personal,
looking for the reason of life, the absolute, the core of things, the atom…
How do we go about the truth in our daily life? How
often do we use white lies to perhaps not hurt somebody or just to avoid
unnecessary discussion. We are getting
so used to it that we don’t even have the slightest bad conscience, although I
know exactly when somebody is lying to me. What do you call that?
Diplomacy. Ahhh, I have given up to tell
lies a long time ago because it makes one so unfree and you have to have a
terabyte memory. The other day a friend was telling me via mobile that he was
walking in a street of Nicosia when I heard his landline ringing. How
Trivial offences have for many become the order of the
day such as in tax declarations or expenses claims….. or taking money for a
favour….. and one gets so easily used to it until one day out of the blue you
are caught and all of a sudden it is a criminal offence.
To be true to one’s country, that is a special heart
ache to many Cypriots, for those living in many other countries around the
globe; they say that there are more Cypriots living in London than in Cyprus;
Cypriots from both sides of the divided island; on many occasions I have met here
Cypriots living in Australia, Canada, America or elsewhere, some of them are
lucky to have a holiday villa here or family, but often they just have an
aching heart. Many of them are asking themselves for their true identity….who
To be true to one’s partner is quite another thing, I
have heard from an expert, a gynecologist in Cyprus, who told me: Heidi, you
won’t believe me how many men and women betray their partners, how many are
married for family’s sake and have not had the chance to make their own choice.
Society is a big lie, he said. Ach, my friend, I said, betraying a partner has
become a sport in many partnerships all over the world. Why is that so? If two
persons living together respect each other fully there is no need for anything
else but the truth. However, as soon as
one half of a partnership thinks himself better than the other then he/she
automatically invites him/herself trouble…. that is valid for any partnership
or coexistence, for example the two halves of our island with respect to basic
matters of life.
To tell the truth to children, the easiest way out is
still ‘you are too small to understand’ however in my opinion it is better to
treat the children as small adults and if we choose the right words and take
our time to explain they would understand….anyway today children learn from
Auntie Internet and Doctor Google the facts of life….often distorted….and worse
than we would have done with our own
The truth is an apple, on the one side green and on
the other side red, it depends where your standpoint is, but it remains an
apple. You want to know the truth about people or countries and their politics
you read the newspapers and listen to the news and shake your head about the
wickedness in the world; but is it the truth we are hearing or reading? Is it
not blown up and distorted? Do we individuals try to find out? You know, there
are world news agencies and they feed the media and all newspapers pick up what
they are fed. That is common practice.
You believe in something to be true, you trust the
facts that are delivered to you, the data on the food you eat – for ages
children were forced to eat spinach for its high contents of iron but it was
proven that the researcher had placed the comma wrongly… to believe means to
trust, but not to know the truth.
To get to know who I am while I was growing up with
all the influences thrown at me, education, advice by the elder in all questions
of life, was a desperate undertaking - at least I remember that I often was
desperate to find myself under all the covering. Today the young people have
the same problem but instead of experimenting to find out what suits them they
copy each other, wear the same hair style, the same fashion, you are safe in
the thick of the crowd, do what the others are doing.
Who are we? Do we need an identity card to tell us? Konfuzius
says that all the seed is in a human being when it is born and it depends on the
gardener to cultivate and help the strong seed to grow to full height…. the job
of parents and teachers if they are well trained, although the main job should
be to teach children to use the tools to do the caring themselves.
Jaaaah, here we are again at the beginning, we have to
do the job ourselves in the end, we cannot defend ourselves, excuse our not so
well succeeded genes with the fault of our parents, our teachers, our
government, we have to blame ourselves. It
is true, art in the wide sense is one of the tools, or literature, music,
dance, sculpting, caricature or even photography, or a fine tongue and passion
to reach a mastership in cooking, or being a good carpenter. Whatever we do it
must be truthful to our innermost, to the true core we have one day discovered.
Can you imagine what our world could be like?