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The Emperor’s New Clothes

There is a story my Mom used to tell me when I was a girl. The story of the “Emperor’s New Clothes”. I’m sure you’ve heard it in one form or another.


Briefly, once upon a time, there lived an Emperor. This particular ruler was acutely aware of how he looked in his royal duds. He was quite obsessive about having the most beautiful and exclusive garb in comparison to his peers. One lovely day, the Emperor was interviewing tailors and choosing his expensive, royal couture when a rather ordinary looking tailor exclaimed that the clothes he designed were so exclusive that only those who were of superior blood and sentiment could actually see them.


Of course, all those in the vicinity were faced with a conundrum. If they identified the tailor as a fraud, they would be deemed inferior because they couldn’t see the tailor’s creations. Accordingly, all professed that his fashions were indeed incomparable. The Emperor was highly pleased and chose to parade himself in front of the whole of the kingdom, wearing this unrivaled apparel.


He sauntered down the main street of his kingdom, assured he was adorned in wonderful, unparalleled clothes. His people would revere him even more. The Emperor himself was unable to see the precious garments but alas, he would never reveal this. What would this say about his supremacy? He “doubled-downed” about the lie. Eventually, one innocent child questioned the credulity of the farce, “Where are the Emperor’s clothes?” The Emperor was completely naked. And everyone knew it but no one was brave enough to reveal it.


I’ve been worried about “truth” lately.


People argue “their truth” and the “their gut’s truth” and “everyone I know thinks so, truth”…a relative truth. But real truth is revealed through a careful, conscious, well-researched study of the problem.


Socrates through his student Plato, identified philosophy as the “love of wisdom”. The answer has been embedded in the study of philosophy and in so doing becoming an educated person. As true today as it was in the 4th century BCE.

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