I have blogged before about the pearls of wisdom delivered by my young nephew. When you cheat, you lose, is such a profound statement. Well, his next one is just as good.
‘There is only one of me.’
I keep forgetting how young he is. He always reminds me of the little child in the Hans Christen Andersen story of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. You know, the child that tells the Emperor in front of everyone that he is naked and that he is not wearing any clothes.
My nephew’s wisdom is abstract and yet black and white and fundamental at the same time. We, as adults continue to muddy the waters, calling out facts that we don’t believe as ‘fake news’, ‘alternate facts’ or ‘truths that are not truths’. When my nephew’s wisdom is applied to these phrases it is impossible for them to be seen as anything but nonsensical. The truth will always be the truth. Our truth is something completely different. One is objective and the other subjective.
The difficulty we face in our current 24/7 world is determining the subjectivity of what we hear or see to determine just how objective the information is before the next news cycle rolls around. What biases already exist in the teller of the story? What of our own biases when we seek to interpret what is being said? Part of the problem lies in the concrete nature arguments are put. It is either one or the other. This notion, paired with emotive language that is often used to convey the message will always produce a message that is subjective. There is no way we will be able to determine the truth when the messages are tainted so much through noisy communication channels.
I suggest that one way to tackle this is to be yourself. Be black and white. Be fundamental. Look at things through my nephew’s eyes. The first step should be to remove the emotion. The more emotional someone is, the harder it is for them to be rational and to think clearly. With emotion removed from the equation, it becomes easier to focus on the issue or issues. When we focus on the issue we can step back and take better aim to try and properly decipher the message. We can become much more objective. The final step is to see things from the other person’s point of view. Not from your own biases but from theirs. Their worldview. Doing so will enable you to see the issue from all sides, yours, theirs and the right side.
This then allows only one thing to remain. The one truth. The objective result in defining the issue to be addressed. Because there is only ever one truth, there can only ever be one of me. There can only ever be one of you. It’s up to each and every one of us to find it and call it out, just like that small, inquisitive child in ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’.