9/22/2005

The Truth Is Out There

The Truth is a very abstract and subjective concept. It is both real and imagined, based on a person's point of view. Everyone is biased in one way or another, it's simply human nature. We each have our own unique perspective of the world, and of each other.

If you ask twenty different people the same question about what happened at, say, a traffic accident, you're likely to get twenty different responses.

When two people have a messy break-up (which can be likened to a traffic accident), or even a civil one, each person will have their own reasons for it, their own truths, which they will relate to their respective friends, who, in turn, will use their own personal experiences and interactions with the formerly-significant other to form their own versions of the truth.

The truth is, indeed, out there, but it's generally so distorted that we never see it for what it is, only for what we want it to be. I've always said that there are three (or more, depending on how many people are involved) sides to every story: He Said, She Said, and The Truth, which always lies somewhere in-between.

Again, it's all about perspective. We all have our own ideas of how the world works, or should work. We've all had experiences unique only to ourselves that have shaped how we see the world, and it is these unique experiences which cause us to relate those twenty different versions of the same traffic accident. We can see the exact same thing, but we process it differently. We remember things differently. We put emphasis on different aspects.

I've done things I'm not particularly proud of, or happy about, but to me, from my perspective, they were necessary. When I relate a series of events, I relate them from my point of view, how I perceived them. Someone else will have an entirely different, yet no less valid, account of the exact same chain of events. So who's right? Who's telling "the truth?"

In all honesty, we both are, which goes back to what I said before, about truth being subjective, both real and imagined. There is the objective truth of what actually happened, which no one will ever, truly, know, and there is the truth you remember, which only you are privy to, because as soon as you relate your truth to another person, their entire life up to that point will influence how they perceive what you're telling them, and then it becomes their truth, and so on and so forth.

Life is like the ultimate game of "Telephone." Remember that game, where everyone sits in a circle and one person whispers something to their neighbor, who whispers it to the person next to them, etc., until it gets back to the original person, and it's something completely different than what they initially said? That's life. You can tell twenty people the exact same thing, word for word, and each person will come away with something totally different. What might be a key piece of information to one person, it will simply be sloughed off and not given a second thought by someone else.

We can all hear the same thing, but it's what we subconsciously choose to listen to that defines our truths for us.

1 comment:

ComicFanatic said...

Man, that went a long way in dousing the fire.

I was having fun too.