Truth – we say we want it, but do we really? Is truth one thing or is it multi-facetted? Do I hold the key or do you? I think these myths blind us – that and our egos – fearing that we are wrong.
The polarization that is such a plague seems to be informed by these myths. Each side standing on beliefs, hopes, fears and desires that appear so different from each other that surly one has to right the other has to be wrong.
Infected with the desire for solutions we rarely seek to discover the problem. We are a Nation of answers with no clarity about the problems. Now I ‘m not saying that there is a dearth of folks who claim to know what the ‘problem’ is, certainly you can open any newspaper and read about something that someone thinks is ‘wrong’ along with their solution of choice. But that brings me back to truth – as one persons opinion.
I so sorely miss hearing keen insights into issues from people I don’t initially think I agree with who expose an aspect of a situation I hadn’t considered. I so miss experiencing revealing aspects of problems I had not seen before. When I get new information from someone else I see and consider new solutions. Truth is found I exploration, not in statements.
We are a Nation shouting truths at each other with out pausing to explore reality. Somewhere, some how truth got divorced from reality and as opinion got substituted for facts and authority became secondary to power and status we stopped seeking to understand and “truth” became a commodity that could be manufactured instead of exposed.
We have claimed “truth” as an experience of being “right” and not as having any reality separate from our own hopes and desires. We have begun to fear “truth” as something that exposes our frailties and reduces our power. We have left our hearts out of the conversation – by ignoring what makes us feel complete, connected and at peace. That gnawing fear that we maybe wrong – that subtle anxiety that makes us wary, contrary and resistant is our heart asking for a place at the table.
We can bring our hearts back into the conversation by asking ourselves and each other what we care about. What kind of life do we want to live and what brings us joy and satisfaction. If we back out of that to how to get there we can begin to build a common ground that allows for shared reflection and exploration. If we can clarify our common ground, then the “truths” have a way to be measured against reality. Experiments become just that experiments, and solutions become explorations not capitulations.
Some “truths” change, grow and evolve. The “truth” about how the world works looks very different to a person who lived in 1050 BC versus a person who lives in 2012 AD. The hopes and desires may not look all that different, but the path to them might. Are the facts different in each case? Are the beliefs the same? Which is “right,” which is “true?”
Let’s bring our hearts not our fears to the table and let’s commit to exploring facts and discovering “truths” and then, maybe, we will see solutions that we have never seen before.