ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - May 8, 2021 - 12:00am

Hyperbole is a literary device that is used to highlight a point. This is significant because literature is a reflection of or a representation of life. We don't always want the usual, or a copy of the ordinary. We want to branch out and try new stuff. We'd like to build a new one that is more advanced. If, though, should we assume that it is departing from the truth, or that it is no longer adhering to what is considered true and proper? Can we all use hyperbole to divert our attention away from what's actually going on in our minds and hearts?

Although hyperbolizing is not meant to be taken literally, it is incompatible with the principle of honesty and may not be acceptable in all contexts, particularly when we want trust to be at the heart of what we do. It should not be used purely to gain a favor or someone's approval, nor should it be used to persuade others to support.

There is no strategy that can conceal the seriousness of which one's aim is pursued, which is founded on integrity and goodwill toward others. We risk losing people's trust and tarnishing our reputation if we don't.

When we translate this to today's generation, most children know that being honest means not lying. This serves as a reminder to them that integrity is shown by our actions as well. Being straightforward and not hiding the truth or attempting to deceive others is part of being honest. Acting in a morally correct manner is part of being honest.

Can we still find this value in our adults today? Integrity is described as doing what is right and true, and doing what we say we will do is far more difficult for adults to pursue. So, what kind of message do we want to send to our future generations who look to us for guidance? Who will they turn to for life-altering ideals, then?

After all, we need someone whose words are translated into action. The consistency of a commitment and the actual execution of action is critical in building trust. Some people may be understanding and tolerant of a few lies, but how long will this last? How far will we go before saying "enough is enough?"

Trust is the basis upon which the integrity of public institutions is founded, and it is critical for preserving social stability for our political leaders. The effectiveness of a wide variety of public policies that rely on public actions is dependent on public trust. Public trust, for example, leads to greater adherence to laws. To increase investor and consumer confidence, trust is needed. Confidence in public institutions is critical for governments' ability to respond quickly and secure citizen support at all stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, including containment, prevention, and recovery. And, whatever challenges and problems we face, people's continued faith in government is required for the latter to readily endorse policies that result in high compliance.

Often, we have to believe that there is a kernel of truth hidden inside any elaborate lie. As a result, if a leader tells us something that is clearly for the sake of rhetoric, we must be skeptical because behind any exaggeration lies a lie.

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