Truth is a complicated concept to grasp. That has never been more obvious than in today’s world of “fake news” in which case every side is claiming they are in the right, but to know what is truth? This is even more important in our personal lives. We all have these truths about ourselves, our family, our friends, our spouses.. but where do these “truths” come from.
My son was watching a cartoon… (yes.. he does that a lot.. no judgement.. it’s been snowing….. A LOT I’d never get anything done!) and the kids in the show were caught lying and were sat down and told to never lie. That lying hurts every situation and that it’s just bad to lie in general. Of course this backfired, and the kids just walked around saying what ever they were thinking, up to and including telling people they stink, they’re ugly, their cooking tastes bad.. what have you. So now the teachers had to try a new tactic and tried explaining that sometimes it’s ok to lie and sometimes it’s not and there are reasons for lying and for not.. and so on.
This seemed a bit crazy for my 5 year old to grasp so I put down my sponge, and sat with him for a minute to ask him about lying and give my perspective. I explained that lying was when you didn’t tell the truth in order to keep yourself from getting in trouble, but that telling someone things that may hurt their feelings just for the sake of it isn’t being truthful it’s just being mean.
I asked him some scenarios. I asked him about spilling his drink, and hiding his dinner.. then I asked about calling someone ugly. He said that wasn’t a truth. I asked him why he said that.. his response was one that took me decades to figure out.
“A truth is telling something that was done or someone said. Just because you think someone’s ugly doesn’t make it true.”
And that was it.. perspective.. just because you think something doesn’t make it true. Just because you may have been told that you’re stupid, or ugly, or fat, or a failure doesn’t make it true. Just because you think that someone is the only one for you.. or some job is the only thing that can make you happen.. doesn’t make it true. Truth is action. Truth can’t be challenged.
You think you’re a failure. Have you never won anything? Even a game of UNO? You think you’re unlovable. Have you never been loved, by you mom, your ex… that guy in 7th grade math class? People spend a lit of time deciding what their truth is.. instead of using actions to create a real truth.