I have written this blog several times, deleted, edited, thought about the pros and cons of putting it out there. I am afraid. Afraid to make myself vulnerable. Afraid that I will say or do the wrong thing and you will shame me and/or remove me from your life.
I look at all that is going on in our country and feel a variety of emotions. On the one hand feel a great sense of hope as I see all of us waking up, learning, protesting, and in some cases changes are taking place. On the other hand, I see the road ahead and know that the greatest hurdle is yet to conquer.
The world I dream of is one in which we can safely and openly have dialogue. When everything can be expressed we feel truly connected to each other. As long as points of view are withheld, we keep an elephant in the room and therefore have distance from each other. The dilemma is two-fold. Many of us don’t say everything we feel, (I don’t want to say it wrong or at the wrong time, etc.). This is a totally valid response; often words or actions are met with righteousness. This dynamic leaves our society walking on thin ice, trying to always say the politically correct thing and keeping much to themselves. As a society, when we stay silent or withhold, ultimately racism increases while intimacy decreases.
We have a “Cancel Culture” where if someone says or does the wrong thing, they are simply canceled from your life. This culture also represents the righteousness that slows down our change.
A first step to deeper change is understanding the construct of truth you live by:
- ABSOLUTE TRUTH is the belief that there is one truth. Either you are right and I am wrong or vice versa.
- TRUTH AS RELATIVE is the view that having different values (truths) is not important. There are no right or wrong values. It is important to respect each other’s values rather than judge them.
- DIALECTICAL VIEW OF TRUTH means that there are no right or wrong values, and that there is always a kernel of truth in any point of view (even if that truth is related to that individuals personal experiences and values). A key addition to this concept is that values change over time as one interacts with changing environmental circumstances. As we act on our values the environment changes and as the environment changes, our values develop further.
If we accept this dialectical view of truth, we allow ourselves and others to learn and change. Rather than “cancel” each other, we could begin to have COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION.