July 21

Today's quotation:

Always remember that you can be dead right about
the facts and altogether wrong about the truth.

Daniel

Today's Meditation:

This is a lesson that took me a very long time to learn.  I always used to be pretty convinced by facts that my perspective was true and valid, but I came to learn that there almost always is more to the picture than I actually can see.  And once I realize that truth, then I know that my judgment of any given situation is necessarily flawed, and that my feeling of being "right" about something is based on incomplete information.

A classic example of this type of problem is the spouse who seems to be sneaking around, doing things discreetly, having strange conversations of the phone in very low tones, then hanging up when the husband or wife comes into the room.  The other spouse, of course, uses his or her powers of deduction to add up the facts--and the facts point to some sort of illicit behavior.  Later on, they find out that the spouse was simply planning a surprise party, not sleeping around or having an affair.  In a case like this, the facts do not point to the truth at all, and many people have lost their peace of mind agonizing over what they think the facts mean, never trying to find out the actual truth.

Likewise, someone making a rude comment to me can get me upset because the fact is quite obvious:  this person made a rude comment.  However, the truth of the matter isn't as simple as "this is a rude person."  I can't know what's going on in the person's life that might have caused him or her to make such a comment.  Perhaps they've just lost a job, or their spouse is leaving them, or their daughter has just run away from home.

Facts aren't necessarily truth.  When we learn this lesson, we find out much about life, and we learn what it means to say that we can't really know someone else unless we walk a mile in their shoes.  Yes, the facts seem to be pointing somewhere, but are they really pointing to the truth? 

Questions to consider:

Have you ever interpreted facts incorrectly and come up with a conclusion that wasn't the truth?  How did it feel to do so?

Why do we put so much value on facts alone?

Which is more important, knowing all the facts or knowing the truth of the matter?

For further thought:

Not everyone can see the truth,
but everyone can be the truth.

Franz Kafka

  

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