The Honest Truth?

Well, I’ve been thinking again. Thinking about truth, because sometimes I get bored of thinking up grocery lists. I think that I may have already mentioned that I am a lousy liar. I have no poker face. I don’t even need to say anything and you can read me like a book. It’s not necessarily a good thing, it can almost be rude. If I’m not too fond of you, you’ll probably see it written all over my face. I know that I’m honest, but what I’ve been wondering is, am I truthful?

Are you wondering what the difference is or do you already know where I’m heading? I try to always tell the truth but the fact is that I tell my truth. The truth as it appears to me. I’ve come to realize that my memories are coloured by my experiences. The same memory retold by myself or by one of my sisters may not be recognizable as the same event. Believe me, I could retell the births of our children and my husband could retell their birth stories and not only will it sound different but it will be hard to believe that we were in the same room.

This skewed view of the truth is not strictly relegated to the sphere of my personal experiences. Take a look at the media. Is there anywhere that the reporting of the truth is more questionable? There was a time that reporters objectively imparted the day’s news and events to us. Now, the bias is so apparent as to almost be as big as the news story. It seems to me that we now pick newspapers based on whether or not that paper’s bias is the same as ours. Either that or we read as many papers as we can get our hands on and try to glean the truth from the various accounts.

So, what do we do with this? Do we work towards a more honest truth, examining our personal histories for the bias that we have created? Or, do we just accept this knowing that this is one of the flaws of humanity? Is it even a flaw or just human nature?

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6 responses to “The Honest Truth?

  1. It seems that like many things in life, truth is subjective. The question is, does one have an honest self awareness? Then at least, you know their truth is coming to you without hidden agendas. The media is a whole other story.

    • Big, My question is, do I have an honest self awareness to know that my own truth is subjective and then if my personal truth is subjective what is the real truth? Is there a real truth because everyone’s view of an event is skewed by their subjectivity? I only mentioned the media because traditionally it has been a bastion of the truth. That’s probably not true either, we just didn’t know it. I saw a t-shirt the other day that made me think of you. It said, Dear auntie Em,
      Hate Kansas. Hate you. Taking the dog. Dorothy
      There’s some truth to that, no?

  2. That t shirt you saw is a framed poster you saw in my home, do you not remember? I believe there never was and never will be a real truth, the human condition is subjective. You and I can count on Big for a dose of as close to real truth as we are going to get (subjectively speaking of course).

  3. good post. I think it really depends. something are the truth subjective, and some are the truth objective. It is both true how you recount your birth stories, and unless you husband is a pathological liar, his version is true as well. you just see them from different prospective. Other things – such as the difference between rain and sun is a matter of distinct truth.The only real problem is trying to use our emotional experiences as a measuring stick of objective truth. One can not tell if it is raining or shining just by feeling like it should be raining or shining, for instance. though it may be truth that one WISHES or even feels like it is raining when in fact it is shining.

    Most experiences and opinions are a combination of subjective and objective truths. an intelligent person realizes this…. and fool doesn’t and it often will get a body into trouble. Our reasoning skills and emotional experiences are there to serve us in this world, not for us to serve them. With out them, every single time we would have to make a decision in life (what to make for dinner, for example) we’d have to start completely over from scratch. but your reasoning skills and experience tell you what your family will eat, and your factual understanding of how much money is in your account tells you what you can actually afford to buy. Combine the two and there you have a perfect tailor made judgment call.

    (sorry, it’s probably bad manners to leave such a long comment the very first time i visit your blog! I just love a good topic! šŸ™‚ )

    • Elle, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I suppose that my issue is with recognizing subjectivity. Learning to recognize it in myself and in others. There is the saying about two sides to every story and the truth being somewhere in-between. In trying to be an honest person I have come to the realization that my personal subjectivity colours my view of everything. This is probably not new to many people but something I feel a need to be very aware of.
      Coincidentally I visited your site for the first time this week.
      Welcome.

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