The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): Why don’t we have the courage to speak the truth, to show the truth to anybody?
Acharya Prashant (AP): It is because we have traded away our freedom to speak the truth. There is no problem in speaking the truth to anybody, there is no limitation at all. The only limitation is that you are afraid that you will lose your conveniences. You are afraid that if you speak the truth, then that person will take away all the privileges, luxuries, and conveniences from you. That is the reason that you do not speak the truth. That is the reason that you can’t be yourself.
You have traded away your conveniences for some petty things which are worthless, and it is such a bad deal that you have made. It is such a poor trade. You have given away the priceless- your freedom- to get some basic luxuries, some basic privileges, some basic conveniences. A little bit of money, a little bit of security, a little bit of identity, to get all that, you have traded away your freedom, your essential freedom.
A child is dependent, it is understandable for a child to be dependent. A child is dependent because he cannot do much about it. But why are you dependent on others? Why are you so dependent? Till the time you remain dependent, you won’t have the courage to speak the truth, because speaking the truth has its cost. Only a free man can speak the truth. Only a free man can be himself. A slave cannot be himself.
You all are fond of saying, ‘Be yourself’, a slave cannot be himself. Only a free mind can be himself. Don’t ask the question that why can’t I speak the truth. Rather, you must ask what am I gaining by trading away the truth. Find that out, and see the worthlessness of what you are gaining by trading away the truth, by trading away your freedom.
Once you realize that you are gaining only a little bit of comfort, some emotional security, some petty attachment, and you are giving away something of great value, then you will stop that transaction. And then you will have all the courage. Stop taking what you are taking, stop taking those privileges and luxuries. Once you stop taking them, you will become free.