Then, in sophomore year in college, even a Catholic college like Seton Hill which I attended, the philosophy professor made a shambles of the assumption that "truth," in an absolute sense existed.
The literature professor reinforced that with a line of poetry from Emily Dickinson about telling the truth but telling it slant.
Whole industries, as we experienced in "Mad Men," are built on playing with the supposed truth. Recall the iconic episode about how Don Draper reframed the loss of the Lucky Strike account into a sales pitch for anti-tobacco accounts.
No fool, I stuck to the "truth" that professors and then bosses demanded. In short, I knew to give the "right answer." Success in academia and the workplace depends on primarily on figuring out what the power structure demands to hear. That's the game.
Yet, I made it through crises of all kind by getting smart about how to fake it. The art of faking it is downright necessary for, first, survival and, then, unique forms of achievement.
Not that it always works. Wells Fargo is in the soup for creating fake accounts.
The Trump Administration is losing credibility because of its myriad stances on fake news.
Essentially, most human beings have limits about how much a reality can be slanted to pass as a plausible narrative.
But being creative with what is can be a strategy for success.
Lawyers do that all the time. It's called a "novel approach" to the law.
The legal minds at Motley Rice made a brandname for themselves by fusing the traditional legal concepts of product liability and public nuisance. The result was and still the state-level lawsuits against the former manufacturers of lead pant.
A key tool in resilience is the ability to spin negatives into material that can we managed. A childhood history of abuse can be positioned and packaged as a platform for early access to problem-solving. Those coming of age in Happy Clappy families might enter college at an emotional disadvantage. They are clueless about how to deal with the tyrannical professor.
And in recovery programs there is the life-saving slogan: Fake it until you make it. That includes behaving in a non-destructive manner until miscreants believe they deserve to live.
Fake is not totally bad. Its value is correlated with how masterful we are in putting together a make-believe. Steve Jobs labeled that "reality distortion."
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