How do I know the truth? I know it through experience. I know it through “being there, seeing it, swimming in it.” In other words, not my imagination, something I read or have someone tell me what they believe is true to them. Truth is truth and not what we want or wish something to be. Truth demands courage and must be expressed in its naked form and not dressed up so that it comes across as opinion.
The problems associated with “truth” are many and why it is difficult and challenging to be truthful. One basic reason is that truth as an individual knows it to be may not be what others want to hear or accept. It is why I have often written and lectured on the subject of “genuine dialogue.” Genuine Dialogue demands a true listening and understanding of what a person is saying. Agreement is not an imperative, not asked for, but understanding what one is saying is. So where is the truth? The person speaking may believe that what they say is the truth, but back their words up with speculation, hearsay, (what others have told them), or what they have read. In other words, the speaker wants the listener to believe that what they say is the truth and, more importantly, they want the listener to agree with them. If agreement is what a speaker expects, they need to be prepared for non-agreement and accept that this may not be the case in the listening or in the response.
In too many cases when people are in conversation, they have an expectation that they are being heard, understood, and possibly agreed with. Likely, none of this is the case. In this day and time, the amount of immediate information is mind-boggling. Just click your cell-phone and the information one seeks is instantly available. Is truth guaranteed or is it just information? In fact, does listening between us really happen or are we just physically present but our mind somewhere else? How often do we witness people in a restaurant sitting at the same table, but each with their cell phones at their fingertips? So, what is the truth of our relationships? Dysfunctional is my truth. It is what I witness all too frequently. Sy
I see you, but hear?—————Maybe yes and maybe no—————Do we care which one?