Fact, Fiction, Opinion & Expectation

The differences between each of the title words are significant and complex. 

If I personally experience an event this is Fact to me; participation not hearsay or opinion. That is, “I was physically there, I saw and heard firsthand.” On the other hand, if I express what I think and what I feel, but have not personally experienced an event I express only my OpinionFiction is false, a made up story, but often designed as if true and Fact. Knowing the difference and responding appropriately to Fact, Opinion or Fiction is never easy. Seeking hard data to support what is said and heard is not a simple process. One must search for hard proof. Saying it is so does not make it so.

Examples abound around most “Kitchen Tables” where much talk takes place and where separating Fact, Fiction and Opinion is often next to impossible and why I include Expectation in the title. Expectation is usually below the surface, but plays a big role in communication. Often the Expectation is that “I win you over to what I say is true.” Here is where Opinion and Fiction becomes one and turning Fiction into Fact is what the speaker wants the listener to buy into.

The dialogue experience may be the only way we are able to communicate with each other if a speaker believes so strongly in what they say even if what they say comes only from hearsay or what they have read. In other words, what many people believe as true is not based on Fact, which must be actual, but sources that say “what I say is actual.” This most serious problem with communication is more common today than ever due to social media and the technology that so easily makes Fiction appear as Fact.  

It used to be that most people communicated their Opinion to each other and they would say so, but this is becoming rare between us. It is why I suggest asking questions: Is this your experience? Were you there? If told, how reliable is your source? Fact demands irrefutable proof, and we are each responsible for separating FACT from FICTION. This mountain is getting harder to climb.   Sy

    Our world is changing—-Must we also change with it?—-Maybe, maybe not.

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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