Word of the Week: Veracity

Ve·rac·i·ty

  • habitual observance of truth in speech or statement; truthfulness.
  • conformity to truth or fact; accuracy.
  • correctness or accuracy; precision
  • something true; a truth.

Synonyms: honesty, integrity, credibility.

Veracity. It’s what we should have. Sometimes the best example of what a thing looks like, is an example of what is doesn’t look like. 

A contractor was at our home recently to upgrade a service. He was friendly and outgoing, but every sentence that came from his mouth contradicted his previous one.   As he struggled to figure out the install, his confident but deceptive verbiage (i.e. BS) piled up.

When I searched for basic facts I needed from the pile of his double talk, he shifted to criticizing his coworkers and employer. Trying to get clarification on how to use the new service was like catching paper in the wind. Finally, it dawned on me …

“Have you done this before?”

“You need to call the company. They’ll tell you what to do to get it working.”

… He didn’t know how to do the job.

“Call the company?”  (The company I called last week? The one that put me on hold forever? The one that scheduled him to do the install?) 

“You don’t need to call them. I got you set up. It’ll work.”

Another flip flop.  After he left, it didn’t work. I had to call the company.

I didn’t complain about the guy. If he’s a new hire, his incompetence deserves forbearance.  What I’m left pondering is his constant flow of deception. He talked a big talk for two hours. Did he say what he believed I wanted to hear, or fake knowledge to end questions he couldn’t answer? Was his BS habitual? I don’t know, but truthfulness wasn’t his modus operandi, and I was impacted as a customer.

That relatively harmless but irritating experience gave me a fresh appreciation of habitual truth-seekers and truth-tellers. We get into habits with truth. Or not. It’s a choice to be factual. Or not. We impact others either positively or negatively, depending on which route we choose.

Big and small, truth has an immeasurable impact on who we are. It grounds us. From that solid ground, we can build lives that don’t shift in the sand. Or blow in the wind.

Veracity. It’s what we should have. 

 

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