Monday, October 17, 2005

How true is truth ?

I just finished reading Bill Clinton's MY LIFE (Early Years) . Every Autobiography claims to be a soul searching memoir in which the person gives a first hand account of the incidents in which he had been a party. And whenever the writer attempts to finally come out in an uncreased, unstained white robe, iam amused. Do people always tell the truth in their autobiographies ? :-) Or do they tell what they want others to think is the truth. Anyway, it would be my fault if i buy a biography expecting nothing but truth in it. Mr. Clinton has not mentioned about any Machiavellian tactic that he had ever used. He has not mentioned about ever intentionally harming or deceiving anyone. Such a confession coming from a person who has been immersed in the turbulence of American politics all his life, puts me in a quandary.
I have also read elsewhere that there have been claims of Mahatma Gandhi dropping several contentious issues from his autobiography. Now let me grab a copy of Mein Kampf. If everyone claims to be fair, why is history replete with stories of deceit and cruelty ?
Well, may be two rights pulling in different directions call eachother "wrong" ! If every act can be justified by some theory, there are no wrongs per se. It is an absorbing activity to read autobiographies and then regurgitate them. When a person's life that spans several decades is laid down on a few hundred sheets of paper, they should naturally thrum with wisdom. Wisdom that was passed on to him by men before him, Wisdom gained through painstaking experiences, Wisdom that would be the beacon if one ever stands at the same cross roads. And they are laid down before the readers who can reflect on them and think of wiser ways to deal with a situation or learn the wiser way from the pages.


At 11:27 AM, Blogger Manoj Govindan said...

"When a person's life that spans several decades is laid down on a few hundred sheets of paper, they should naturally thrum with wisdom."

Given that ALL people do not necessarily gain significant amounts of wisdom (at least not enough to make it worth sharing in a book), I am not surprised that your stated expectation is not met. On the other hand there is at least one person I know of whose autobiographical account has enough nuggets of knowledge and wisdom even though he is yet to complete four decades of living.

Things have changed so much since Clinton that nowadays becoming the US President is hardly indicative of a person's (political) wisdom but far from it ;)

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Sarath said...

Quite True manoj. Let me get a copy of Armstrong's biography. I happened to meet an old lady in one of my flights who was a cancer survivor and she told me that she was a great fan of Armstrong and used to keenly follow his races. She also said that Armstrong's fight with death and return to life and race had inspired her during her wrestle with the killer disease.
Iam sure, such a person's biography would certainly thrum with wisdom.


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