2 + 2 = 4. The Power of Truth

By Greg Baer M.D.

July 20, 2015

All our lives we seek the truth, or at least we claim to. But when we find it, we discover that living the truth is much more difficult than we thought. Then we tend to make excuses, saying that the truth is hard, that it’s harsh, that it requires too much of us.

But the truth simply IS. It’s not harsh, or kind, or stubborn, or flexible. The truth is just true. It does not change for our convenience, and yet most of us spend our lives trying to change the truth, resisting it, trying to change it, doubting it, ignoring it, and denying it. I see this every day as I talk to people about the unvarying truths that produce happiness in our lives and in our relationships. These Laws of Happiness are as consistent as the laws that govern mathematics. Feeling loved, being loving, and being responsible produce happiness as surely as 2 + 2 = 4. Allow me to share some common responses I hear to statements of the truth.

“But I don’t like it that 2 + 2 = 4.” Most of us work very hard at trying to be happy while we’re also being selfish or angry, for example. We want 2 + 2 to equal 5, but this is impossible. Our desires and behavior often contradict immutable, eternal laws, and this can lead only to unhappiness. Solution? 2 + 2 = 4.

“But everyone else believes that 2 + 2 = 5.” Yes, they really do. Nearly everyone believes that lying, anger, money, sex, and manipulating will bring happiness, but look at how “nearly everyone” is doing. Fear, confusion and disillusionment fill the world, so it’s fairly obvious that 2 + 2 does not equal five. Solution? Remember that 2 + 2 = 4, and act according to that truth.

“But all my life I’ve lived 2 + 2 = 5. How can I hope to ever change that belief and my behavior?” We have to quit repeating the old math. Simply state to yourself and remember—over and over—what you know to be true: 2 + 2 = 4.

“But what if it’s not? What if 2 + 2 doesn’t equal five?” Isn’t it possible that if I continue to be selfish and manipulative, I’ll somehow manage to be happy? No, and no again. We can be selfish and find a measure of pleasure, or power, or financial wealth, but we’ll never experience or maintain genuine happiness.

No matter how we wish it to be otherwise, 2 + 2 = 4. The truth—whether mathematics or the Laws of Happiness—doesn’t confine us. The truth doesn’t restrict our choices. If we learn and follow the truth, it guides us, empowers us, and gives us an unshakeable confidence that we will be happy and strong. I’m grateful for the truth as a firm and reliable foundation upon which I can build a happy life.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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