Nicholson To Cruise: "You Can't Handle The Truth!"

When Marine officer Jack Nicholson barked that to lawyer Tom Cruise in the film classic “A Few Good Men,” he was setting the bar for all of us. Frankly, even when we have the truth, how bold or sure are we to say out out loud…?

To all those surgically confident empiricists out there, you may believe having the “facts” is all you need when talking to someone. And yet, even when you have all the facts, you may still have only half the truth. Because there are always feelings-to-the-facts. The feelings and consequences that come with your facts. Because you’re not talking to a feeling-less computer. Telling me 2+2 = 4 is a fact is easy. Telling me I am dumber than you may be a fact, but one you’ll find hard to prove. And even harder for my ego to accept.

So many examples of why handling the truth is a helluva lot harder than simply handing it out:

* the doctor reporting your test results in the hospital
* the boss evaluating your work
* your lover commenting on your loving
* the President listening to the stylish lies from a smiling rival
* the parent telling the child why the answer is “no”

Can you handle the truth…? Of course the followup question is: What IS the truth…? Two tough ones.

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