The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Friday, July 28, 2017

Seeking Truth

In conflicted times, where it seems we in the US can't agree on anything outside of some labeled sphere, it is hard to discover where the truth lies. Inside my bubble, I'm astonished at what others claim as truth that makes me want to jump up and scream LIAR! It's a visceral response born of fear with no thought required. Hearing Mitch McConnell lament that no version of their ACA repeal could pass due to Democratic obstructionism, from my bubble I find myself wondering if he actually believes any of that. It certainly isn't what I hear.

Some people are impressed when a military man states, in short, declarative statements, that the military isn't fair. If you are sick or deficient in some way, there is no place for you. This was inspired by Donald Trump unilaterally declaring via Tweet that transgendered personnel could not serve in any facet of the military. Well, those short declarative statements were largely about sick individuals and the transgendered folks aren't. I don't think you become a Navy Seal while being seriously ill. But that's his bubble and his experience.

So, I recently asked a retired journalist I know (no, not fake news here, a real honest-to-goodness journalist who sought the truth of the stories covered for NASA, the State Department, and the White House) and asked him how he found the truth of the story. He started in a place I might have with a sermon: "People are fallible. They remember any given incident differently." You find the truth, he told me, by interviewing as many people involved in the story as possible, getting their point of view. Once you have all the stories, you look for the common threads among them. You will find the truth there, where the stories agree.

That sounds like a really good place to start. It means getting out of our bubbles and talking to each other. It means learning our stories, our fears, our concerns, our joys, what we have in common and where our differences lie. Then we can compare the stories, find the common threads, and perhaps come closer to the truth of our complicated situations. Can we do it? Will we do it? Or will be continue to glare and swear at each other from within our own tiny little bubbles? 

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