For so many that I have worked with over the years, the actual word truth has become a trigger word. What is truth anyway? Among philosophers, it is a hotly disputed debate and has been going on for centuries with famous people like Aristotle and Aquinas discussing it in great depth. It is also something that is taken for granted as something tangible and unwavering. The truth seems to be something a bit more elusive like trying to touch liquid mercury as it slips and defies such an attempt. (I don’t suggest trying since it is poisonous)
Despite being so elusive, it is something that all of us feel is an essential value. We are quickly offended when we find that we have been deceived and are calmed when our sense of truth is validated. So, is it absolute truth or perceived truth that is at the heart of the matter here? According to Scientific America, only 98.72 % of the North American population believe the world is round with 1.28 % believing the world is flat. In the Journal for the Association of Psychological Science found that 358 people who were convicted and sentenced to death since 1989 have since been shown as innocent with DNA evidence and those people were convicted from eyewitness testimony. Were those eyewitnesses lying or as their perception of what they saw distorted by something?
What I am trying to convey here is that truth can be shifted by perception and distorted over time. Determining the truth really isn’t a black and white determination, but more a sifting through all the shades of grey that influence those who are involved.
Those who are pushing absolute truth are really playing on or innate desire to have truth and the linked values of freedom, justice and peace. Truth really comes from within and from our willingness to understand from other people’s perspectives. Acknowledging that other people will have a slightly or vastly different truth than ourselves is important. What it really comes down to is trusting our intuition and making every effort to seek to understand from other people’s perspectives. Over our life, our idea of truth will shift and change. This will happen with others as well.
Truth is one of my three core values. On diving into this more deeply it has given me a new perspective of really accepting the shades of grey and opening to how others hold their truth. They all are unique like the people that hold them. Just like our growth journey, there are layers of truth and degrees of truth for all of us.
What comes next?
What are your thoughts on truth now?