Daily Archives: March 15, 2010

Who owns the truth?

I read an interesting bit in the recent issue of National Geographic Kids that I found in the pile of my daughter’s school papers.  Their section “Bet you didn’t know” usually has interesting factoids for the kids to ponder over.  This particular one read the following: “you see color differently than the person next to you”.

So the red color that I see isn’t the same red that you see or that the person next to you sees.  Our “reds” are different from each other — and even if that difference is very slight — they are still different.  Which is another evidence of the fact that reality is not really a given but rather an interpretation of what we see it as and of how we process it.

The physics and the science behind it are completely beyond me so I won’t go into that.  What makes this interesting for me is what happens when you replace the word “color” with the word “truth”.  “You see truth differently than the person next to you” — which is another way of saying “your truth is different than mine”.

I think this is very important to remember when we go out into the world and, especially, when we move to other countries and live within other cultures.  Our truth can be very different from the “truth” of your new neighbor — but it doesn’t mean that their “truth” isn’t true.  It’s just a different truth, a different way of processing and interpreting reality around them.  Understanding that we don’t own the only “truth” and that there are many “truths” out there can prevent many conflicts and miscommunications.

I am not saying that you should change the vision of your “truth”.  But accepting that your “truth” is just one of many may actually enrich it.  Just like knowing that “red” comes in different shades will make your view of the world rich with colors, knowing and seeing other people’s “truths” will make your life rich with experiences.

Your thoughts?  What has been your experience with the different “truths” out there?

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