It’s easy to believe in an absolute truth when standing in a crowd of those who believe the same thing.
When we are children we are taught in black and white, right and wrong, good and bad.
At some point we should grow up and start experiencing the potential truth of other values. In part, I am referring to value as it exists in art. Value is the lightness or darkness of tone or color. There is a whole lotta gray out there between the black and white.
If you spend all of your time in the same place you’ve always been…the coffeehouse, the workplace, the congregation of fellow believers, your neighborhood, your comfort zone…you are not challenged. Absolute truth is comfortable.
If you hear something over and over again, you’ll tend to start believing it. That happens in our childhood when we learn basic values from our parents…our family…our people.
Then we start venturing out into the world.
By high school, we are usually full-on challenging our formerly held “truths” – the truth of our parents.
I don’t believe that means we are always thinking for ourselves.
It often means that we are just taking on the beliefs of the crowd we are in.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong. As humans, we need others. It’s nature. It’s science. It’s who we are.
There can be safety in that crowd, that herd, that gang of like-minded individuals. Comfort even.
But there is even greater danger. Danger to those that are not in the “in crowd”.
In the next couple of days, if you look around you and find that you are in a crowd that believes in the same “truth” that you do…
Make sure that you have shone an intense light on the truth that you are espousing. Have you thought it through? Are your thoughts your own? Are those thoughts comfortable? Are you challenging and redefining that truth? Do you feel the need to “defend” it? Are you comfortable and safe?
If you consider yourself a champion of the oppressed, the different, the marginalized, does your protection apply to all people who believe differently than you? Does everyone matter? Did you decide who was worthy of your efforts or was it a group decision that you threw your hat in with?
It’s not brave to stand in a crowd and defend your “truth” in the safety of numbers. A majority of voices doesn’t define what is true or good or right.
Truth is not found in argument, in protest, in noise, in conflict, in chaos, in darkness.
Truth is when you are alone, in contemplation, in intelligent thought, in light…
Make your voice known.
Share your truth.
Make the world a better place.
Recognize that truth, as you understand it may differ from the belief of the person standing next to you.
Rejoice and be glad that you are able to stand next to and with someone that you do not agree with.
That is freedom.
That is these United States of America.