What People Want: Wisdom at No Cost; Truth Without Sacrifice…

John Jay Chapman

“A vision of truth which does not call upon us to get out of our armchair – why, this is the desideratum of mankind.” – John Jay Chapman, Born Mar. 2, 1862.

I know two things for sure.

1. You just learned a new word.

2. J.J. made a true statement above.

Everyone has a desire to understand the world. It's the function of our consciousness.

To make sense out of the meaningless chaos of the present… To spot patterns that help us survive the present… That help us by plan for the future… And help us make decisions that keep us alive, at a minimum…

And “truth” is basically an accurate understanding. Understanding can be physical (How a combustion engine works). Or understanding can be metaphorical (How love is pain).

But understandings that prove accurate for many, if not all people, are things we consider as “truths”.

Follow so far?

Now, we want to HAVE the truth. But DISCOVERING the truth is hard. It takes work and experimentation and perseverance. It is a pursuit which often wears the truth-seeker down. But once a truth is discovered, it is easy to LEARN.

Or at least, it's very easy to ACCEPT what seems like the truth, when you are presented with it by a trusted source. You can just go ahead and accept their truth and that saves you the time and trouble of coming up with your own.

Now if you are good at picking your sources of truth, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Heck, it's our advantage as human beings that we can pass along our truth to our tribe-mates and offspring, thus ensuring the survival and propagation of our genes.

Good sources mean accurate truth. That means good decisions and successful plans.

BUT… People are notoriously bad at picking sources for truth. They tend to pick the ones that give them what they want to hear, and it gets whispered right into their ear.

So unlike the wise master at the top of the mountain, whose truth is only sought by those who hunger for enlightenment and are wiling to struggle for it…

We are the wormtongue, leaning RIGHT over their shoulder to explain to them that the TRUTH is that the world is exactly as they have always expected/feared/hoped. And then we explain how if that is true, then they should naturally desire whatever it is that we are selling. Make this connection creatively.

Watch them become emboldened and empowered by the truth we give them – that they take ownership of, and claim as their own.

We give them that sweet desideratum they crave: truth without sacrifice.

They give us what we ask in return:…


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