Clerk: In the Matter of Love V. Fear (Defendant), I hereby call this session to order.
(Fear is ready to take the stand in its defense. The clerk swears in the defendant. Love is relaxed but alert.)
Clerk: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Fear: Ummm… well… I’m not sure I can do that.
(The courtroom stirs. Jurors shift in their seats and look with slight panic at the judge. Love closes its eyes, leans back and appears to settle in for a long day.)
Clerk: We’re not going to get very far if you can’t swear to tell the truth. Judge?
(The judge looks down and tries not to appear frustrated.)
Judge: Fear, what do you mean, “I’m not sure I can do that”?
(Fear twists around to look up at the judge)
Fear: Does it matter who thinks what I say is the truth? I mean, do I need to believe it, or does the person I’m talking to need to believe it? Because if it’s the latter, then yes, I tell the truth.
Judge: Can you give us an example? I’m a little confused.
Fear: Sure. Let’s consider, oh, let’s call her Jodie. Jodie wants to start selling the jewelry she’s been making on the weekends. She’s shown it to a few friends, and they’ve encouraged her to go for it. Before she could go any further, I decided to intervene. I mean, she could get hurt! So, I told her that it’s possible no one will buy her jewelry. That her friends were encouraging her just to be nice. That it’s never going to go anywhere, so she should stop thinking about it and focus on what will actually make her money. I’m just trying to protect her. Someone’s got to tell her the truth. Fortunately, she heard me and believed me. Jodie and me, we’re tight, you know, like best buds. She always listens to me.
Judge: So if Jodie believes you, does that make what you say the truth?
Fear: That’s the catch, Judge. I’m not really sure. I mean, it COULD all happen that way, couldn’t it? And what’s Love going to do? Come in there all Pollyanna and rosy, telling her she’s going to be a superstar? No way. That’s not Love. That’s Fantasy Land.
Judge: I think you’re evading the question, Fear. Are you, or are you not, capable of telling the truth?
Fear: Well, when you put it that way, not really. I admit, I’m a bit of a trickster. I like to mess with people’s heads. And wow, the rush I get when they believe something I tell them! WoooooooooWeee! I hope they never change. (Fear sneers.)
(The judge signals to the Prosecuting Attorney, Grace, beckoning her to the bench. The Defense Lawyer, Screech, approaches as well. The judge speaks in hushed tones.)
Judge: Now, I see where this is going. Fear is incapable of telling the truth.
Grace: With all due respect, that’s exactly the point of this trial. Fear has been terrorizing people for long enough. Love wants people to know there’s another way. Love wants to show people what Fear really is, a sorry, lying piece of ….
Judge: OK, OK, I get your point. Both of you, back to your seats.
(The judge straightens up and clears his throat.)
Judge: I don’t need to hear anything more. Clearly, Fear is not going to cooperate, and we can’t trust anything it says. I’m ready to hand down my sentence.
(A few of the jurors shift in their seats again, wondering why they took time away from their golf game for this fiasco of a trial.)
Judge: Fear, I hereby find you guilty on all counts of hindering an investigation and inflicting psychological damage, and I’m handing down a life sentence of truth seeking. Anytime you decide to visit someone, you are obliged to offer them a single question: “What’s true?” So you can say anything you want, and you must offer the person the question “What’s true?” And then you must get out of the way. First, though, you must allocute to your crimes. I need to hear all of the false statements you’ve made up to this point.
Fear: Forgive my bluntness, Judge, but Seriously!?!? I hope you don’t have anywhere to go for the next century…
Judge: That’s OK – Love will keep us alive.
(Beth: just as I thought of that song, an Eagles song (“Take It Easy”) started playing! Had to share that – love it when that happens!)
To Consider: Have you put Fear on trial recently? Or have you let Fear run free and evade cross-examination? What would happen if you questioned Fear? What would you be letting go and embracing?