Truth or Perception? (Part 1)

by Clarence Elmer T. Quismundo, MARCH 2021

For most of us, from the time we are engaged by the company, we are constantly made aware of our corporate values. By now we are all familiar with the acronym “CITIES” which stands for “Customer Focus, Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation, Excellence and Social Responsibility”. Let us talk about INTEGRITY.

When I see that word, several things come to mind. Things that are real, factual, genuine, honest, Good Faith (if we are talking about Contracts), and true. We can generally say that we are being truthful and honest. However, we can also be truthfully and honestly wrong if we are holding on to false beliefs wherein in such cases we are merely interpreting by processing the knowledge or information that we have. Hence, in many instances, we are not seeing the Truth but are relying on our Perception.

Years ago, Vistelar (a consulting firm) discussed Five Universal Truths. These are:

  1. All people want to be treated with dignity and respect;
  2. All people would rather be asked than told what to do;
  3. All people want to know why;
  4. All people would rather be give option rather than threats; and
  5. All people want to be give a second chance.

We need to take the word “universal” into proper context. Does it mean universally accepted, i.e., true for most people? Or does it mean true, i.e., true, and applies to ALL people?

Digging deeper, I don’t think they are true. There are many people who because of trauma have lost dignity and respect for themselves. Some people need direct orders instead of requests. Some people prefer to have options rather than be pressured to do specific things. There are people (such as hard-core soldiers or religious fanatics) who will follow orders without asking why. And some people have resigned themselves to their current fates and just going through the motions in life. It appears then that these truths depend on individual experiences, moral upbringing, situation, culture, or current state of mind. Hence, these truths are relative. [Theory of Relativity, anyone?]

This conflict between Truth and Perception has existed throughout history. But one question that begs to be asked is “is there such a thing as an absolute truth anyway?” I’ll give it a shot by invoking science, i.e., the Laws of Physics, and specifically heavenly bodies. I would cite three case examples as follows:

Photo by Alex Andrews on

Case#1. The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West, always. Is this absolute? I would say Yes for now, but this could change when the direction of Earth’s rotation changes. Although the chances of this happening are remote, it’s not impossible, right? If you watched the original Superman movie in 1978, you know what I mean. Hence, it may not qualify as absolute truth.




About the writer:

Clarence Elmer T. Quismundo. Clarence has been with MPT South for six years as head of Contracts Administration. He’s usually mild mannered like Clark Kent, often choosing to express himself thru words. He reads and surfs the net in his spare time while writing occasionally in a wide variety of topics.

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